“NPower Canada delivered on what they promised, and made me hopeful for the future.”
Born and raised in Panama, Ian knew from a young age that he was gay and experienced homophobia while growing up, facing particular difficulty with his family. In his early 20s, Ian participated in a transitional education program with a Toronto University, meant to support people from marginalized communities. Unfortunately, due to unresolved issues and ongoing mental health challenges he was unable to cope, and burned out, he dropped out of the program. Around the same time he broke his leg in four places and returned to stay with his family in Panama to recover mentally and physically.
When he returned to Toronto, Ian began applying for work, but without education, certifications, or Canadian experience, he was unsuccessful. “I had a few interviews, but someone else would always get the job,” Ian recalls. “After a few more attempts I knew I needed to do something differently,” says Ian, “and that is when I decided to apply and get enrolled in NPower Canada.”
When Ian enrolled in the NPower Canada program in September 2019, he was in receipt of income support from Ontario Works, was actively receiving support for his mental health and implementing self-care strategies in a more effective manner than he had in the past. He came into the program eager, energetic and with an aptitude for tech. He knew what he needed to do to pass his certifications and was committed and willing to do whatever it took to be successful. For Ian, the personal and professional development training he received was transformational. Ian credits his success in the program with shifting his mindset and learning the importance of being himself.
“They helped me figure out who I was, which helped me to easily show who I was. [That] ended up being what ultimately got me the job, says Ian”
Ian obtained his CompTIA A+ and MTA certification and received multiple job offers. He secured a rewarding full-time IT job as a Service Desk Technician with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and currently supports 150 employees with their IT needs.
“I acknowledge that there are still many forces that prevent others from reaching where I got today, but NPower Canada is filling the gap and breaking ceilings.”