Celebrating Success: Ajak Biar’s Double Hitter

“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.

Core Neighbourhoods at Work and Affordable Housing are both very proud to celebrate Ajak’s employment and housing successes.

Ajak is originally from Cuba but has made Canada his home for over 20 years. He has worked in Ontario and Alberta but has been in Saskatoon for the past 5 years. In his time here, Ajak has been employed in warehouse environments but deep down he knew that he was capable of other opportunities. The one thing that was missing was an organization that would help him in reaching his maximum potential.

Ajak first sought out the support of Quint in June of 2014 when he registered with the Core Neighbourhoods at Work Program. At that time he identified needing support with both employment and housing. CNAW staff were able to help him create two versions of his résumé, to job search, as well as upgrade his skills. He successfully completed Fork Lift Training and Safety Construction Orientation Training through Quint.

As mentioned, Ajak not only needed support in finding employment he also was looking for safe affordable housing. We are proud to say that Quint was able to help Ajak with this. In February of this year Ajak became a tenant in our Affordable Housing Program. Ajak is a polite, respectful, and responsible tenant that has already shown staff and other tenants that he is driven and hardworking. 

His willingness to be open to new ideas and perspectives allowed him to see his potential outside the manufacturing sector. Because of this openness to change, we sent his resume to our contact at Commercial Sandblasting & Painting and Ajak immediately received an offer for employment. We are happy to say that he has been working as a Commercial Painter since March!

As Ajak himself said,
“I want to thank everyone in the office for all the help and support they have given me. They have done a really good job and I really appreciate it!” 

Double Hitter!

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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!