Metro News: Job shadowing benefits youth

Metro Toronto LogoMany of us will go through our careers wondering about the guys at the top and what kind of enchanted life the CEOs of our workplace lead.

Now, the POA Foundation, in conjunction with Nishnawbe Aski Nation has organized Project Beyshick, a CEO job-shadowing program to solve just that problem.

Project Beyshick has organized a project where they find willing CEOs from various companies and partner them with a First Nation youth that are interested in that field. This project was new this year and Hyperactive Communications has high hopes to continue it. For three mornings, the youth that participate get the opportunity to job shadow a CEO and learn about what happens at the top.

Autumn Yesno, 22, is from Eabametoong First Nation also known as Fort Hope, Ont., which is an isolated community north of Thunder Bay with a population of about 1,200.

"I attended elementary school there and then attended high school in Thunder Bay where I graduated and went on to Confederation College with a diploma in hotel management," she says. "This year, I will be attending CDI College in the accounting and payroll administrator program and will graduate in April 2006. I
am really fascinated with the business industry and hope to someday open up my own, but not too sure what type."

Yesno was partnered with Denis Frappier, executive vice-president of AMJ Campbell Van Lines for 25 years.

"I participated in the project in order to create opportunity for Autumn to progress in her young, adult life. As well, encouragement, confidence and exposure became synonymous in my job shadowing task with Autumn," says Frappier. Frappier was born in Sudbury, Ont. and moved to Oshawa with his parents when he was seven years old. During this time they were a language minority (born and raised as French Canadians).

"I could not speak more than 10 words of English," recalls Frappier. "My point is Southern Ontario provided me a greater opportunity from an educational perspective and a career perspective."

Yesno says she learned a lot and would definitely do it again. "It was actually an amazing learning experience working with a huge business and seeing their daily operations from executive vice-president down to the accounting department," says Yesno about the experience. "I admit I was nervous at first because Denis is this big boss of this huge company, but Denis is very nice and made me feel welcome.

"I also learned about myself. This experience was a real eye opener for me. It showed me that there's so much opportunity out there. It gave me exposure to the real world and also the confidence and encouragement that a lot of us young people need."

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