More than 40 out of the 300 summer job positions at Focus On Youth were given in custodial positions. Unlike our program’s camp counsellors, custodians work in several high schools across the board to help caretakers prepare for the upcoming school year this Fall.

Neil McNeil custodian John Paolo de Lemos

One of these lucky participants was John Paolo de Lemos, a recent graduate from Jean Vanier CSS. He was placed at Neil McNeil High School.

According to John, there is no such thing as a typical day. His job consists of a variety of tasks: cleaning lockers, lifting furniture, sweeping and mopping the floors — simple jobs that turn out to be large feats when considering an entire school. This is why, to John, he feels a sense of accomplishment whenever he finishes a certain task.

“My favourite part about working at my placement is finishing a certain task and looking back after to see how successful I am doing it,” John said. “For example seeing the lockers shining after all the hard work I put in makes me feel happy and take pride of my job,”

Sweeping the floors of an empty classroom

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In addition to feeling accomplished, he also learns a lot from his supervisor, Brian Cormack. According to John, Brian highlights the importance of teamwork. He sees leadership as all about cooperation; there typically aren’t any issues between the custodians. If there are, they will immediately talk about it together.

“The only way we can accomplish tasks is when we work together,” John said. “Conflicts can affect our how we do our tasks in a bad way.”

John with his supervisor and mentor, Brian Cormack

John works from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays. All FOY custodians work through July and half of August.

Good luck to John in entering university this coming Fall!

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