A Refugee's Story
- Thursday, February 16, 2017
We would like to introduce you to a former MP Maintenance Associate, Alan Kipson. We love Alan’s story because he took advantage of all that Mission Possible has to offer such as training, employment coaching, and work experience. Alan was a delightful member of our Mission Possible team and we wish him the best in all his future endeavours.
Hello, my name is Alan Kipson and I was an MP Maintenance Associate. I love to read, especially self-help books and I used to play rugby for six years where I won a championship and the title of MVP.
When I was 10 years old, my family moved from Burundi to flee the genocide that was taking place. We landed in Canada as refugees and eventually I moved to Vancouver. I was looking for a work opportunity when I ran into Andrew, an MP Maintenance supervisor who was working downtown. I explained to him I was interested in what he was doing and that I was eager to work. He told me about Mission Possible’s opportunities for training, mentorship and employment – all of which were things that I was looking for.
I participated in the 3-day workshop series with Jennifer which gave me a wide perspective and a really good foundation for the work I wanted to do. I learned about the importance of soft skills and how to have resilience by getting back up on my feet, even with a difficult past.
FIRST FEW SHIFTS
Soon after the workshops I was interviewed by MP Maintenance and given an opportunity to work part time on the team. My first few shifts were exciting and I was supported and encouraged as I learned all of the different tasks I had to do. My favourite is pressure washing; it’s hard to understand at first, but when you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun.
The team atmosphere at Mission Possible was great and the supervisors were significant mentors to me. It reminded me a lot of my days playing rugby. As a team, you want to support and encourage each other to do better and become champions. That’s how I felt on the MP Maintenance team and there’s wasn't a single day that I came to work without a big smile on my face.
PROUD OF MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
I’m really proud of the accomplishments I made at Mission Possible, and I feel like my advising sessions with Jennifer helped to highlight those. I recently worked hard to upgrade my high school marks and got over 90 percent in all of my courses. With this I’m hoping I can go to BCIT next year. While I was with MP Maintenance, I was able to find additional work at a local restaurant as a dishwasher and I’m training to do prep work in the kitchen. Who knows, maybe I’ll be a kitchen manager some day!
I’m really grateful for this experience at Mission Possible and I didn’t actually think that anything like this program existed. I’m learning applicable job skills, have goals moving forward and – perhaps most importantly – am really starting to understand what my purpose is. I’m still growing, but I feel optimistic for what lies ahead.
Update: Alan has been promoted to cook and is still hoping to go back to school. Alan was also chosen as one of our 2016 Comeback Award Winners.
Please consider making a gift to Mission Possible to support individuals like Alan who are working to rebuild their lives. Contact us at 604-253-4469 or donate online now