JEDI’s first point of contact is our wonderful receptionist, Melinda Paul. Melinda is vital to keeping the lines of communication moving within the organization. She keeps a busy staff aligned with their daily activities and assists outside agencies looking to connect with and learn more about JEDI. I sat down with Melinda to learn more about her and how she came to be such a necessary asset to the JEDI staff…
What’s your story?
I made the decision to go to college for a career change in my late 20’s. I had been working in the childcare field and before that I was doing homecare for seniors in my community, however, I had always wanted to be an administrative assistant and have an office job. I truly do enjoy helping people, planning, and working as a team. While I was in school, I got pregnant with my son so I had to take some time off to have my son, but then I jumped back in and graduated.
Tell me more…
I like to think that I am a people person, sociable and good at what I do. Our team has grown so much since I have been here at JEDI. It’s amazing to see people grow, including myself. I have met so many wonderful and knowledgeable people over the past 5 years, from all walks of life, and that is something I will carry with me forever. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime as well, we are all one big family and that makes coming to work even more enjoyable when you love what you do and the people you work with.
How did you end up at JEDI?
I had a friend who was working with JEDI and she knew I had just graduated from the Office Administrator course and had mentioned to me that JEDI was looking to hire an Admin. Right away I did my research on the organization, sent in my resume, got myself an interview and I have not left since, that was 5 years ago.
What are your goals at JEDI as well as in life?
I have many goals, and I challenge myself each year to do better in life and work. Things are forever changing around here and that is a great thing in my eyes, because that means we are growing! I have challenged myself to get more involved, to take the initiative to be mentored with Board of Director business and to work on bettering myself with little things like minutes, writing and organization. I also have a goal outside of my day job and that is cooking. I have a supportive staff and boss that encourage me to follow that passion as well. JEDI supported me when I wanted to become a CFM – Community Food Mentor which then lead me into another goal of teaching cooking classes in my community in the evenings. I can proudly say that I get the best of both worlds and I am doing two jobs that I love.
Riley Patles, Business Liaison for the Aboriginal Labour Market Information project, will be a monthly contributor to the JEDI blog. From Metepenagiag First Nation, Riley graduated from St. Thomas University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016 then went on to complete her Bachelor of Education degree in 2017. Riley will be a link between industry and community in order to help serve the Indigenous workforce.