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Emad smiling

Video: Emad’s story – growth, stability and joy

“The stability I have now – it all goes back to the first step I took with YSM.”

Emad came to Canada for a new life. When he arrived he relied on his personal experiences and goals to create a great future for himself, but had very few material possessions to help him in the process.

“The challenges I’d been facing [when I first arrived in Canada] were not having Canadian experience for work and in finding a place to live,” said Emad in 2019. “[YSM] Evergreen really helped with my resumé and finding a job in order for me to get to the place I wanted to be.”

Emad was connected with Evergreen through his Ontario Works caseworker. He started in our Next Step program and, upon graduation, joined YSM’s Youth Job Connect (YJC) for an employment training and placement program through Starbucks.

He learned skills helpful in managing his finances, understanding how to deal with anxiety and came to realize he’s a very patient person.

“Working on my resumé was one of the really important parts because I didn’t have any idea how to represent all the things I’d experienced on paper. It reminds you of the skills you have,” commented Emad. “There are lots of abilities and skills that can be used towards building your future that, maybe, you don’t think are a big deal or worth mentioning. But they are.”

Emad was placed in a Starbucks store through YJC and within 4 months was promoted to shift supervisor at his location.

“To me, not everything is about money. It’s about feeling like I was challenged or am getting developed. It’s being in a place where you’re happy and growing personally.”

In 2019 we asked Emad about his goals for the year, which included returning to school for business, continuing in his career at Starbucks, getting a car and a new place to live.

In July 2021 we caught up with Emad to see what had changed since our last conversation.

“I started school, I’m studying business marketing now,” shared Emad. “Job-wise, I’m still working at Starbucks in the same location, I just moved closer to work which is really convenient. And now I have a dog named Hooloo, which means peach in Persian.

“COVID has made me realize that life is really hard to predict. There will be a lot of things in your life that are out of your control. I really try to focus on my well-being, doing what makes me happy instead of worrying about the future a lot – I want to live in the present.

“I’m really happy I was led to YSM’s programs. I feel it made a huge difference. The stability I have now – it all goes back to the first step I took with YSM. I really encourage people to support YSM because it makes an impact. It changes people’s lives.”

GIVE 6IX logo

For our 125th anniversary we’re inviting the city of Toronto to GIVE 6IX to “the Six” in any way, from anywhere, to help change the lives of neighbours struggling with poverty . . .

By partnering with YSM’s employment services, Starbucks gave Emad and youth like him the training and skills to start a career he loves!

What’s your 6IX? Learn more and get inspired at