Self-confidence soars after summer job at Home Depot


BACI’s BEST program makes part-time work possible
Friday September 2, 2011 — Ryan Rogers

Debbie Pastro says her son Derek’s self-confidence has soared since his involvement with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI) employment services and training (BEST) program that earned him a part-time summer job at Home Depot.

She says she can see his self-confidence soaring in the way he talks and interacts with people, and the entire experience has been “very rewarding.”

Derek joined BACI support staff at a job fair in the spring and his resume earned him an interview with Home Depot, where he was selected from a candidate pool of about 200 applicants.

Through the BEST program Derek successfully earned a seasonal position with Home Depot as a “loader” where he helped to clear shopping carts, set up flags while the forklift was in use and directed customers throughout the store, among other duties.

Derek was working 12 hours a week, making friends and entering into an entirely new social network.

The three-month contract expired in early August, but the experience gave Derek confidence and self-worth, says his mother Debbie.

A major aspect of fostering true societal inclusion is increasing the prospect of economic inclusion through employment.

“He’s wanted (a job) for a long time now,” says Debbie, adding that Derek’s proved he can do what everyone else does.

The support of BACI’s staff members made this possible.

“The staff here are beyond excellent,” says Debbie. “They worked so hard and they were really, really good. If it wasn’t for them, Derek wouldn’t have gotten this job.”

BACI staff members supported Derek with training classes to familiarize him with the job skills and social skills he’d require on the job.

BACI employee Anna Chan supported Derek by helping him develop his resume and apply for the job online. She joined him at Home Depot after her shift to go through the interview process with him, and made sure that he was comfortable with his duties.

If you have a story you would like to share with the BACI Blast, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 29, or e-mail ryan(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 29, or e-mail ryan(at)



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