July 12, 2021
Meet Isabella - Get Into Hospitality participant
Isabella was working as an attendant in the club lounge at a Marriot Hotel for a year before losing her job during the pandemic. Isabella had got her start at Marriott through Prince’s Trust Canada’s Get Into Hospitality program with Yonge Street Mission and Marriott Hotels. “I had no experience and started thinking I’d never get hired,” explained Isabella one year ago before graduating from the Get Into program and starting her job at the Marriot hotel.
After gaining a year of experience and feeling more confident at work, Isabella was nominated for an “outstanding youth” Prince’s Trust Award and was due to fly to a red-carpet ceremony in London, United Kingdom, when news of the pandemic hit. In the months that followed, Isabella was informed that she and dozens of others would not be returning to their jobs. “There was a feeling of insecurity, I didn’t know where my next pay cheque would come from. I wondered, where do I go from here?”
Today, Isabella is training to become a certified ESL teacher, an idea inspired by her experience working at the Marriot: “my colleagues were from all different places, I was actually teaching a few coworkers some Spanish. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do that before the Get Into program,” explains Isabella.
Like so many young people in Canada, Isabella had to focus on the skills she had gained prior to the pandemic and adapt to the new employment market. “I learned real life skills in the program, like teamwork and how to work with different people. It was totally worth it. It wasn’t easy learning new things, but I used that resilience to get me through this tough time,” says Isabella. Through the support of her family, friends and the team at Prince’s Trust Canada, Isabella is now on her way to helping others learn a new language. “I wanted to help people learn English because it’s not my first language, so I know what it’s like. I can use my passion to help others. I want other people to know that if you have confidence and support, you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Young people have been among the hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic and Isabella is no exception. However, by developing soft skills like teamwork, resilience and communication, Isabella built up the confidence she needed to take her next steps during an incredibly challenging time.