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Telling Our Stories: SUPPORT

Andrea MacNeill - Labour Market Facilitator, PEI Association for Community Living / Ready, Willing & Able

If you had asked Andrea MacNeill this time last year what she would be doing, it’s a safe bet she wouldn’t have been able to actually say. After 20 years working in the hospitality industry, Andrea made the brave and scary decision to make a change. That change led her to two new and previously unknown places: Women Unlimited and the not-for-profit world.

Women Unlimited is a transformational 12-week program that brings participants together with a professional and business network of like-minded women to participate in opportunities for skills development and personal and professional growth. It’s designed to empower and inspire success on your own terms. However, when Andrea looked at the program, her first thought was that she didn’t belong in that group of women. She was quick to discover how wrong she was.

Women Unlimited turned out to be a perfect fit for Andrea MacNeill.

After completing the program, a chance meeting with the Executive Director of the PEI Association for Community Living quickly led to Andrea applying for a new job. Making the change was scary, but deep down in her heart Andrea, a mother of two, knew she could do it—if for no other reason than that she knew she would and could do anything for her children. In addition to recently starting a new job Andrea spent this past spring traveling the Island with her son Jacob, the 2015 Easter Seals Ambassador.

Andrea MacNeill now works at PEI ACL as the Labour Market Facilitator for Ready, Willing & Able with the goal of finding 60 legitimate positions for people over the next three years. This is no small task, but it’s one that she says she’s eager to tackle head on and hopes to help change the way people look at things. More importantly, Andrea is hoping that in the coming days and years, we will all learn to be a little more inclusive in our thinking and willing to give people a chance.

“Don’t ever underestimate a child and what they can teach you as an adult.”