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Kinder College Employees

Connecting Passions to Employment

Lila* had been living in a shelter for 6 months after moving to Toronto. Working in restaurants when she could, Lila was looking for stable employment, “I needed a job – anything”, she says. “One day [when I went to the library to look for jobs] I saw YSM across the street . . .”

Struggling to make ends meet, Hana* had been living in Regent Park with her children. Finding employment was crucial, but Hana believed she needed to develop her skills before being able to secure a job to support her family. Learning of YSM’s Computer Lab, she enrolled in computer courses and other workshops, and was soon volunteering in YSM’s daycare. With confidence growing, Hana was then ready to take her next step.

Unable to find employment on her own, Isabel* needed Canadian experience and a safe place to learn and grow. She found work at YSM’s Double Take Thrift Store, which serves as an employment training initiative for community members. As she began taking on more responsibility, Isabel knew she was ready for a career she had a passion for.

Kana is a small business owner, operating a daycare centre, Kinder College, with her husband. Kinder College currently employs 25 staff and cares for 97 children. Wearing the many hats of an entrepreneur, Kana was grateful when YSM’s Employment Services approached her with qualified daycare staff applicants.

YSM Job Developer Hager connected with Lila, Hana and Isabel, and immediately saw their abilities and potential: all three women had experience with children, either within their own families or in a daycare setting. After training and coaching, Hager linked them to Kana who, after interviewing them, hired all three.

Kana remembers how nervous some of the women were in the interview, but once they started teaching and interacting with the children she saw the passion and drive YSM had recognized.

“Hiring is hard and time consuming,” says Kana, “YSM introduces us to amazing women. Whoever YSM brings to us is well trained, professional and reliable. We trust YSM’s screening and training process; and having a steady group of high calibre employees has saved me so many times.”

When asked about their work, Lila, Hana and Isabel have only good things to say. “They’ve helped me so much,” said Isabel. “I love teaching and playing with the children,” says Lila. “I like working in all the rooms here,” says Hana, “everyone is so amazing.”

Lila, Hana and Isabel are three of over 20 YSM community members to work at Kinder College.

At YSM we are grateful to have employment partners like Kana, who recognize the talents and skills of our community members, and join us in helping them reach their goals, find meaningful employment and thrive within their neighbourhoods.

To learn more about YSM’s services employment services visit

Pictured: Kana poses with two staff hired through YSM’s employment services.

*Names changed to protect privacy.