CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Journey to triumph

By Nick Candiotto
Toronto Sun

Nilofar Deliry's journey to Canada followed the long route. After fleeing Afghanistan in 1996, she spent two years in India before arriving in this country.

She also took the long route to employment via Toronto's Operation Springboard.

With training in hair styling, Nilofar began an initial placement at a salon. Unfortunately, she could not complete the placement because of a family emergency.

"When Nilofar left, I thought that might be the end -- that I might not see her again," says Adriana Terzic, job developer. "But she did return, almost in tears and desperately looking for a job."

"I had no choice but to go back," Deliry says. "After dealing with the family problem, I was alone again and needed to make money somehow -- I wanted any type of job."

Through the Job Connect program, Nilofar began a two-week trial at Mark's Work Wearhouse -- and it was a fit from the start.

"When I first came to Mark's, everybody was friendly and helpful," Deliry recalls. "After just two weeks, I knew this is where I wanted to be. I didn't even think about going back to a hair salon."

"From the start, Nilofar has been fantastic," says Jeremy Brown, store operator. "Her desire to learn and work ethic are both great. In fact, she has come a long way since last October."

He was so impressed with Deliry that he hired her as soon as possible -- and Nilofar has been impressing her boss ever since.

"She does things for us now that people with retail experience and perfect English have trouble doing," Brown says. "She is involved in merchandising and has a number of other duties in the store."

"I'm always trying to learn more," Nilofar says. "I don't ever want something to come up that I can't handle or can't do."

To find out more about Operation Springboard, call 416-977-0089 or visit

To identify your neighbourhood youth employment centre for hiring made easy at no cost to you, visit the following website:

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