CJE Haut-Saint-Francois: “we don’t just write resumes!”

As part of a provincially-funded pilot project to increase English-speakers access to existing employment services, Townshippers’ Association is profiling each of the seven Carrefour jeunesse emplois (CJE) in the Estrie. For the third instalment of this series, project coordinator Katie Bibbs sat down with the CJE du Haut-Saint-François (CJE HSF) Executive Director to discuss the team’s efforts to help the region’s English-speaking youth.

Sylvain Lessard and his team face an ongoing challenge: reaching English-speaking clients.

Now the CJE HSF’s executive director, Sylvain joined the organization when it started almost 20 years ago as a guidance counsellor, and through its two decades of offering free education, professional, creative and entrepreneurial support, the CJE HSF has always considered English-speaking youth a key client segment.

“In the Haut-Saint-François, it was ingrained in our operational philosophy from day one to serve the English-speaking community. We are always open to seeing what we can do better, for the benefit of our youth,” Sylvain explained.

While all CJEs in the region recognize the importance of serving the English-speaking community, it’s become second nature for the CJE HSF, in part due to the involvement of English-speaking members on its board of directors. Reaching English-speaking youth ages 16 to 35, however, hasn’t been as easy which makes this Townshippers’ project a welcome one.

So, what else makes this East Angus-based CJE stand out? Sylvain explained that “after 20 years, there are many things to be proud of. [The team] takes the initiative to really create the right programming [to fit the needs of our clients].”

As a result, the CJE HSF always has some great projects on-the-go. Sylvain added, “everything we offer in French, we offer in English! From programs that accompany a person for over 150 hours, to simply getting a CV written, we can adapt our services to the needs of our clients. We are capable of following someone for many years, offering various modes of help [from] adolescence into adulthood.”

This range of service is what makes all CJEs so valuable to the community- they are there to help young people stay in school, get their first job, apply to college, and explore alternatives when they feel lost.  If a youth is struggling with mental health challenges or other more complex life issues, the counsellors are there to help as well.  Staff face the challenges head-on with their clients. “We don’t just write resumes!” Sylvain quipped.

The CJEs are ready to serve English-speaking youth, they are just waiting for you to use them! If you live in the Haut-Saint-François, get in touch with the CJE HSF today by calling 819-832-1513 or visit www.cjehsf.qc.ca. Help spread the word to others! Do you have a suggestion about how to get the word out? Let Katie know, [email protected] or 819-566-5717.

Heart Month 

Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults and is the second leading cause of death in Canada. The good news? It is also one of the most preventable. Heart Month each February puts the spotlight on cardiovascular health and highlights what we can do to reduce our risk of heart disease.

While heart disease affects both men and women, there are deadly differences when it comes to sex and gender, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s 2018 report. Heart attacks are deadlier for women, and five times as many women die from heart disease as breast cancer.

The textbook sign of a heart attack is chest pain. For women, however, early signs may be more subtle – shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, dizziness – signs that, despite more awareness, were missed in 78% of women.

Making heart-healthy choices, even one small change towards a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference, knowing your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups and working with your physician to manage your health can help. The Foundation’s free toolkit at heartandstroke.ca can get you started with three weeks of healthy dinners, health tips, kitchen hacks and more.

This weekly column in The Record keeps you in touch with Townshippers’ Association’s activities and news. For other ways to keep in touch with us, visit our website www.Townshippers.org, follow us on Facebook.com/Townshippers, Twitter @Townshippers or get in touch with our offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717, or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421.

Publication: Keeping in Touch column, Sherbrooke Record, Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Photo Credit: Carrefour jeunesse emplois du Haut-Saint-François

Photo Caption: Based in East Angus, the team at the Carrefour jeunesse emplois du Haut-Saint-François is more than ready to serve the English-speaking community. If you are age 16 to 35, get in touch with them to access free education, professional, creative and entrepreneurial support.