Yvonne Styres-Thomas is a 31-year-old mother to a three-year-old daughter currently employed full-time with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation at Chiefswood Park.
In her early years, Yvonne struggled to find full-time employment. With no reliable transportation at the time, securing a job locally was challenging. Due to this, she decided to pack up and move to Niagara Falls, where she secured a well-paying job as a full-time server at a restaurant.
Upon moving back to Six Nations, serving in a more remote area made it challenging to earn the same income she needed to support her newborn daughter. This eventually led Yvonne to the realization that she wanted to find a new career. To start, she knew she enjoyed networking with people and working in a fast-paced environment. She noticed the new cabins going up at Chiefswood Park, which piqued her interest in exploring the tourism industry.
Yvonne was already considering going back to school when she saw the Youth Job Connection Program (YJC) ad in the local paper. What particularly interested her was that she could earn an income while completing the six-week training program. This meant she would still be able to provide for her daughter while attaining her employment goals.
“The program was great. I did not know what Six Nations Tourism offered or what I needed to get into the industry. So that fact that YJC was able to place me here so they could hire me based on my work ethic was awesome!”
When asked what she enjoyed most about the support she received in the program, Yvonne stated,
“They got me certificates while I was in the program, so that was great. I think I got four different certificates while I was doing YJC. Also, just the fact that they were able to outreach for me too because I didn’t even know where to start, so the job searches helped.” She continued, “They even came with me to the job interview!”
Yvonne now works full-time with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and can see herself staying with the organization for years to come. Through her work with Economic Development, she was also able to get her partner a full-time position. Moving forward, she would like to continue to be involved with the reconstruction of Chiefswood Park and looks forward to what the future has in store for her family.
“Give it a chance and go in with a good mindset because you never know where it’s going to take you.”
“I’ve previously worked with Yvonne in my former role at Six Nations Tourism. As her now-supervisor, I can say without hesitation that she is a solid team member here at Chiefswood Park. She contributes daily to operations, provides recommendations, decisions, duties, financials, customer service, and marketing in her role as a Park Attendant. She is on time, focused, and truly seems to enjoy her work here. She never has a bad attitude, supports her team members and the park, and can be counted on to provide excellent service to community members and guests.”
- Spring Sault, Park Manager, Chiefswood Park