Amba Seales is a former Youth on the Rise participant who is born and raised in Montreal. She studied Nursing at Pearson Adult Career Centre then graduated in 2016. Shortly after in 2017, she officially became a Licensed Practical Nurse but found herself not knowing where to start her job search.

YES: What were some of your goals when you started with YES?

Amba: I graduated from Nursing school in 2016 and got my Nursing license the year after. I was ready to work! However, the transition from school to the workforce was difficult to go through. I knew the basics of what I needed to do to land a job, but I didn’t know where to start. It sounded easy when I was younger: go to school, study hard, get a job, and earn an income. The first two were easy, but the last two were a little more difficult to come by.

What stage are you at now? What have been your greatest achievements / your biggest struggles?

Over the years, I had done some volunteering as a math peer tutor and did some charity fundraising as well, so I knew how the application process would go. However, when it came to the job interviews, I would become a nervous wreck. I always ended up in my head, overthinking my answers before, during, and after the interview was over. I had done my research and read all types of articles on how to refine my interview skills, and I practiced all the tricks you can imagine! But no matter how much I tried, the job interview was something I always struggled with. I’d always get asked to do interviews but I’d never get a response after that. It also frustrated me that I was in the dark as to what to improve upon because I couldn’t get proper feedback.

What did you find as a result of using our services?

I was scrolling on social media one day and I saw an ad about an 8-week paid online youth program called “Youth On The Rise” that taught everything work-related from job prep and interview skills to financial/digital literacy followed by a 3-month job placement. To be honest, it sounded like a bit of a scam as I had never heard of something where you get PAID to do a program. Nevertheless, I applied anyways; a decision I do not regret. The program and its facilitators, who are so supportive, have taught me how to better present myself to potential employers, especially in interviews (something the program spends quite a bit of time on). They have taught me that skills are not limited to only one type of job or profession and are transferrable to others, a notion that I myself had to unlearn. Also, the program allowed me to be bolder and not to be afraid to take that next step to improve my life and career.

What was the best thing about it?

Youth on the Rise is a program that I wish I had access to or had known about when I was younger because it would have definitely helped when I was fresh out of school. I also believe that Youth on the Rise is a program that anybody can benefit from. I know that I’m grateful for the program, the other participants that I shared those 8 weeks with, and the organizers who made Youth on the Rise what it is today.

I’ve always loved being able to help out others in any way possible. Being able to see people light up brings me joy. So, when I decided to apply for a Medical Secretary position, I was a little hesitant because I’m someone who likes to be in the thick of it all and hands-on, and being a Medical Secretary seems like the opposite of that. I now work as a Medical Secretary at Clinic AMS, a physio-medical, and rehabilitation clinic that provides a multidisciplinary approach in improving patient mobility and overall health. I can now see that Medical Secretaries are definitely essential in making a clinic functional. It may not be like nursing, but it is nevertheless a rewarding job, one that I would like to improve and build upon!