Welcome to the Link | formerly Macdonald Youth Services

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Hi, my name is Casey and I am from Berens River First Nation. I spent my early days in Selkirk, Manitoba and then my family moved to Winnipeg when I was nine years old.

In 2019, I was introduced to Life Train, a program of The Link that helps young adults develop pre-employment and job search skills and nurtures their ability to speak up for themselves. I remember one day we went to a career fair at St. Vital Centre. After months of applying for jobs with no luck and feeling pretty down about my situation – I had a panic attack.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had one or not, but let me tell you it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Thankfully the team at The Link helped me stay on track and it wasn’t long before I met Allan, my supervisor, at Mayfair Innovations, one of The Link’s social enterprises.

When I first started with Mayfair Innovations we learned about general labour skills and how to incorporate structure and routine into our daily lives.

I did everything from lawn cutting, spring and fall clean-up, snow removal, scrap pickup, painting, shed and fence building, courier work, inter-office jobs and internal
move jobs. The program provided me with mentorship, paid training and the opportunity to learn industry and life skills in a supportive team environment.

It was a lot of hard work and even though it was quite an adjustment compared to my old lifestyle, I loved every minute.

Once I gained steady employment it allowed me to reconnect with my sons, and then in early 2020, I welcomed my first daughter to the world. From the moment of her arrival, she changed my life for the better. If I hadn’t turned things around, I don’t know where I would be.

Being a Dad keeps me busy in the off hours, but when I am at work I love the calming effect that painting gives me and the pride that building something brings. It is such a good feeling to see a fence or a shed we’ve constructed together from scratch and to know that it will be there for a long time.

The people and programs at The Link gave me the chance to envision a different future for myself and my family. I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles with a lot of hard work and I couldn’t have done it alone.

Years later I am still with Mayfair Innovations and I am so proud of the foundation I have built with the help of Allan and everyone on the team.

I am forever grateful.