Launch + Skills Spotlight on Chris McDonald – August, 2019

Chris McDonald joined the Launch + Skills program in February, 2019 motivated to rebuild his confidence and grow his skills with a goal of finding and maintaining employment.

“I felt discouraged due to unfortunate previous employment experiences and challenges with management. A friend recommended The Sinneave Family Foundation and the Launch + Skills program to me. My goal was to feel better about myself and to find gainful employment in an inclusive environment. At the time it felt like an unreachable goal.”

Through the support of a Launch + Skills Coach, and group work with other participants, Chris’s network of natural supports has grown and he has refined his social and relationship building skills.

“I liked that I was not alone. There were people in the program that were facing similar challenges or had in the past. Having the support of my Skills Coach and the constant reassurance that I have value and strengths that employers are seeking out was helpful.”

Chris also recently participated in the EmploymentWorks program in Calgary which provided direct exposure to inclusive employers and supportive workplaces where he could develop self-advocacy and communication skills through various job sampling opportunities in the community.

“Learning about inclusive and supportive employers gave me hope that things could be better. The programs also taught me how to advocate for myself and to be able to validate my own feelings. I feel as though the program helped break down barriers for me.”

Many of the critical elements for successful employment were in place for Chris, including his desire and motivation to build his skills and find a job in which he could thrive.  Having the opportunity to develop his personal traits and expand his networks in a supportive environment, AND gain access to employers who are embracing inclusive hiring practices led to an offer of full-time employment.  Chris will continue to access support from his Skills Coach and strengthen his social network as an extension of Launch + Skills as he transitions into his new job.

“I am very excited to be getting ready to get back into the work place, which I have not been in a very long time. Three to six months ago that would have been unheard of.  I recommend joining the program if anyone feels defeated or discouraged. It will help you change your outlook. It maybe difficult at times, but anything worth doing is not easy!

We congratulate Chris on his new job and wish him the best of luck!

A few other Launch + Skills reported successes that we want to give a shout-out to include:

  • Cameron found a casual employment position and is enjoying working.
  • Nick has moved into his own place and is enjoying living independently.
  • Natalie has expanded her social circle and is now taking part in weekly DnD games with peers.
  • Travis has started working part time at a local grocery store.

We commend all who have shared their stories, and each participant as they continue to make progress towards their individual goals.

For more information about the Launch + Skills program, please contact us at 403-210-5000 or

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