When Eva came to Canada she faced many challenges. By accessing Dress for Success Vancouver’s services she began to develop skills and her confidence skyrocketed. What’s more, Eva found community and connection through the Dress for Success Vancouver Professional Women’s Group and by being a Dress for Success Vancouver Ambassador. Here’s her story.
When I came to Canada with my husband 20 years ago, I was hoping for a better life for us. And, for a while, it was. My son was born in Canada, but my husband just couldn’t adapt to life here. He became depressed, gave up and moved back to China. That meant I was a single mother, receiving no financial support to help raise my son.
I managed to go to school and earn a diploma in International Marketing, and during my job search I was referred to the BC Employment Service Centre where I met my case manager who, in turn, referred me to Dress for Success Vancouver’s suiting program. The Dress for Success Vancouver stylist was so kind, encouraging and friendly, and I left the boutique dressed professionally and with new confidence. And I got the job!
I was then invited to join Dress for Success Vancouver’s Professional Women’s Group where I had the opportunity to network with other women, attend workshops and work through my questions about employment. And in 2019 I joined the Dress for Success Vancouver Ambassador Program, which has been one of the most eye-opening and impactful experiences in my life.
Along with the other Ambassadors, I attended workshops on public speaking, mentoring and leadership, all of which have helped boost my confidence. Being part of the Ambassador program has allowed me to explore my abilities, learn life-changing skills, meet new friends, and develop my personality. I started out concerned that others might have difficulty understanding me because of my accent and ended up taking on public speaking engagements which were way out of my comfort zone! But, I did it with the help of my Dress for Success Vancouver mentor, and it was so exciting to hear the enthusiastic applause after my efforts.
Covid-19 has had an impact on my life, as it has had for so many. The contract I had for my old job couldn’t be renewed in January. In February I started a new job, but due to Covid that only lasted until April. I seized the opportunity to spend more time with my son, as his school was closed, and our relationship got even stronger. He’s now in grade 11, and when his school opened in September, I began again looking for work, sending resumes and doing interviews, and I’m now in a positive hiring process.
Through it all I kept in contact with the Dress for Success Vancouver community on social media, because we couldn’t meet in person, and we have helped each other a lot – sharing experiences, tips, stories, and providing support when we needed it.
I remain positive and am keen to continue to share my story to inspire others – especially women who are new to Canada, like I was. I’m so grateful for the opportunities and guidance given to me by Dress for Success Vancouver. I am a proud advocate for Dress for Success Vancouver because it makes a difference in women’s lives. I know it did in mine.
You can help more women like Eva. Visit Helping Women Now to see how HERE.
Photo & Video By Badzak Creative