June 19, 2023
Meet Jay - Discover+ CN Tower Participant
From navigating a new country to walking in the corridors of the Westminster Abbey, the journey of Jay Patel demonstrates the profound impact that Prince's Trust Canada’s (PTC) programs can have. His story begins in 2021, when Jay relocated from India to Canada. Optimistic yet inexperienced, Jay sought the support he needed to secure employment and improve his professional skills. The unprecedented challenges of Covid-19 were an added barrier to Jay’s aspirations. However, through PTC’s employment programming, he discovered opportunities that supported him along his career journey.
Jay participated in the Discover+ CN Tower program, which changed his life by equipping him with the skills and network he needed to secure a job in the kitchen of the city's most iconic landmark. With no prior culinary experience, the program helped Jay transition from uncertainty to confidence. “I have never been in the kitchen, but when I came here, the Chef hired me with zero experience. Now I can work in the kitchen. In the future, I will be a Chef,” Jay says.
His journey didn't stop there. After several months of perseverance and hard work, Jay was invited to attend His Majesty The King's Coronation at Westminster Abbey in London, U.K. in May 2023. Selected as a representative of Canadian youth, Jay found himself among a diverse group of young ambassadors from across The King's global charities, including Syria, Barbados, Nigeria, Kenya, New Zealand and more. This collective presence of global youth at the Coronation highlights the King’s commitment to championing young people.
During his time in London, Jay’s experiences extended beyond the Coronation. He had the opportunity to interview with the Global News and CBC, meet Prince's Trust Canada board members at Canada House, including Board Chair Mark F. Fell, and interact with the Honourable Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner for Canada. He also connected with PTC Youth Ambassador, Karyne Holmes, and other global youth representatives. Witnessing the success stories of individuals like Holmes and Steven Frans, also known as Dynamo, deeply inspired Jay. "Seeing my childhood idol succeed, it inspires me to believe that one day, I will have a similar story," Jay shared.
Jay reflects, "This whole journey, right from the program to the Coronation, has been surreal. The experiences, the people I've met, have taught me so much and will shape my life in ways I can’t imagine."
Upon returning from London, Jay was given a big promotion as Seasonal Restaurant Service Supervisor at Toronto’s CN Tower, an advancement he credits to the skills and confidence he developed through the program.
Reflecting on his journey, Jay believes his story can inspire others, showcasing the power of resilience, hard work, and the right support. “With the right support, anything is achievable. For me, that support came in the form of Prince’s Trust Canada," he said. Jay’s journey from a newcomer to a successful professional is a testament to the life-changing power PTC’s programs can have.