Sharon & Ainsley
Sharon (right) loves cookies, points programs, equality and fabric - all fabric! She is a creative whirlwind, full of energy, ideas and the follow through to make them happen. Sharon is known as "the one who can fix my pants" to all the Evergreen youth and they are always looking for her with their sewing needs.
Ainsley (left) loves colour, music and chai lattes (with soy, if you're offering). She's known to the youth as the "tall one" or "Thelma from Scooby Doo" - results of a 70s Halloween costume. With quirky dance moves and never-ending enthusiasm, Ainsley's photographic eye is always looking for the best way to show off the youth's newest creations.
With a background in costume design, Sharon brought her passion for the arts to her role at Evergreen. Seeing a need for a program to bridge youth into employment readiness, Sharon sought input from youth about what program a program like that should include. Sharon ran a pilot project of the Jubilee Designs concept in the summer of 2016.
Having history in commercial photography and as an entrepreneur, Ainsley's skills were the right fit for the lead-up and beginning of Jubilee Designs. Jubilee Designs officially began in April 2017 and, though it has evolved from the original plan, Jubilee Designs continues to employ youth who are ecstatic to be a part of a small business that supports them in their personal and professional goals and understands the challenges they faced in their everyday lives.
My time management and approach to working has changed since Jubliee. Flexibility around shifts and minimal pressure to be on time for every shift, has allowed me to learn how to better manage my time and even to push myself harder. I have found that I can learn quickly and commit to something I enjoy. Since starting Jubliee, I have returned to school and picked up another job. I look forward to continuous growth within Jubliee and in my life.
I’ve had a hard time keeping employment throughout my life, I would spiral downhill; with my on & off unstable housing, mental health, or my addiction problem that I attained at a young age of 17. Jubilee Designs has helped me in areas I never thought I needed. I have gained self-awareness, patience, confidence, and I’ve been beginning to be more persistent in trying, even when I fail.
Before I had this job, I was closed minded about what I can learn. Jubliee has helped me to see more of my job skills. The work place that we are in here makes it easier to talk to my boss or co-workers. This job has med me feel like anything is possible. I don’t know what my next job will be, but I am ready.
I used to struggle with keeping jobs because of my mental illness and unstable housing. Jubilee Designs taught me how to balance my work and personal life so I can stay employed when things get tough. I have also learned how to move past conflicts in the workplace so I can get along with people even when I don't agree with them.
I had felt confused about what I wanted to do in my life. Jubilee was very accepting, the people were caring and gave me space to think. Since I started working for Jubilee I felt like I wanted to make an impact in the world and have a more powerful message than just a job to make money.
We have a little bit of art in us, whether we realize it or not, art is an expression of ourselves. In the end, we started coming more so for ourselves. Jubilee helped us discover who we were and what we had to offer.
Though she only had a year of experience participating in Evergreen’s arts program, Ann accepted the offer to participate in Jubilee Designs. She liked the simplicity of getting paid to create art. Through art she explored emotions and reflected on memories of difficulties she had gone through. The time before Jubilee Designs was a blur and thinking of it brought back feelings of distress and anxiety. Yet the products she created allowed her to fashion new memories and to embrace the theme of celebration.