In the summer of 2019, Angel was struggling to find work. Fresh out of foster care and uncertain about her future, she needed to get a job or enroll in school to stay in the semi-transitional housing where she was living.

“I was really stressed about it, so my therapist suggested I apply for the Graphic Communication and Print Training program at Eva’s because I like to draw and paint,” said Angel.

“They invited me for an interview and a tour of the print shop and when I saw the previous participants’ posters, typography and other projects, I got really excited. I thought this would be an outlet for me to use my artistic skills,” she said.

By the time she got to the bus stop, she’d received an email that she’d been accepted to the six-week training program.

Angel says she learned a lot about graphic design and printing, including how to create logos, banners, business cards, illustrations and production. Her passion for the work was clear and she was invited to return to the print shop as a paid intern for 13 weeks.

“That extra experience was amazing. Everyone was friendly and I got to practice the skills I had learned and pick up things that we didn’t cover in the training program,” she said.

When the internship ended, Angel got a job managing another print shop. She stayed for two years before deciding to look for a new work environment.

“One thing I really like about Eva’s program is that they stay connected with you after you leave training. They emailed me last November to let me know there was an opening for a production assistant on a two-month contract. I took it, and I’ve been able to stay on with the team since then.”

Angel is also working as a freelance graphic designer on a project for the City of Toronto.

“When I finish the contract with the city, I might get an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop. I’m really glad I got a chance to learn what I’m good at and what I can do.”