Dena is driven to succeed!

“You plant the seed, you may not see the bloom, but you helped plant that seed for their future.” – Laverne

Laverne has been an essential part of Quint since it was created. She is a founding board member of Quint, and one of the reasons the organization has the pulse and impact it does today.

As a lifelong resident of Pleasant Hill and many years of community organizing in the core neighbourhoods,  Laverne’s leadership was an instrumental part of the vision that led to the formation of Quint. As a member of the founding Board, Laverne helped ensure that the foundation of Quint was solid with a clear strategic plan and policies that have shaped the organization as it developed in the early years.

When Dena moved to Saskatoon in 2006, she didn’t speak English. This was not because she couldn’t – she already spoke 3 languages – but because her school in Mosel, Iraq, had been destroyed by bombs.

But Dena didn’t let that stop her. In 2014 she finished her High School credits, graduated with her Grade 12 Diploma, and immediately registered with Quint’s Core Neighbourhood’s at Work’s job seekers program. With her resume in-hand, Dena began her job search.

By September 2014, Dena got hired with Extra Foods (now Independent Grocers), and she is still working there!

Then in March 2015, Dena was accepted into the CNAW Learner’s License Program where she began working one-on-one with Mallory, a CNAW Employment Coordinator, to study for the learner’s exam.

While SGI offers the learner’s exam in many different languages, Dena was very firm on wanting to do her’s in English. True to her character, she tried writing the learner’s exam twice on her own, but wasn’t successful. Even more determined, Dena took an oral exam (meaning a driving instructor would read the questions to her instead of her reading them on her own) and passed with flying colours!

For Dena, it is important to be independent and this is one of the biggest reasons she wanted her driver’s license. Despite her many obstacles, with 9 years of hard work, she has learned English in a new and very different country, completed high school, found work, and gotten her learner’s license.

Now Dena’s goal is to become a flight attendant – and we’re confident that, for Dena and her hard work, even the sky will not be a limit for her.

As the organization continued to grow, Laverne’s position evolved into the  Director of Operations but she continued to oversee and guide the affordable housing program. She is also one of our main social function organizers ensuring that we maintain a strong and cohesive staff team/family, something that she prides herself on. She has worked hard to make sure staff feel included, heard and part of the decision making process within the organization.

Laverne also played a large role in organizing Quint’s community events, what she calls “the fun work”. This included launching and planning the annual Our Core Communities Shine events, numerous community BBQ’s, and anniversary celebrations.

Laverne’s impact is throughout all aspects of Quint’s programming and practices. Her legacy will be that of dedication, compassion, and perseverance, always fighting for the good of her community and the people in it. On behalf of the Quint staff, board of directors and the community at large, Laverne we are so thankful for your leadership and vision to bring Quint to reality. Your contributions will continue to transcend the 26 years you have committed to our west side core communities and beyond.

Happy Retirement!