The Gleaner

A role model for social integration

Brian Patenaude proudly washes mangoes in the kitchen at École Secondaire Arthur-Pigeon in Huntingdon, where he works to process surplus fruits and vegetables with Les Complices Alimentaires.

Already a role model for his classmates attending the social integration services program at the Huntingdon Adult Education and Community Centre, Patenaude is once again setting an example in having successfully transitioned to the workforce.

“Brian showed a lot of initiative this year, with the Zero-Waste Challenge and in the kitchen, so he is ready for a next step,” says teacher Marie-Claire Charlebois. She encouraged Patenaude to further his education and learning experiences by applying for a job.

He wrote his resume and took part in the interview on his own. The job is within walking distance of his home, and because of his experience in the HAECC kitchen, he is confident in his work.

When asked if he is happy, he responds, “Oh yeah! It gives me something to do. I like it.”


SIS student Brian Patenaude is working with the Complices Alimentaires this summer PHOTO Sarah Rennie


Patenaude is also pleased that his work with the Complices Alimentaires is helping to reduce food waste. “There are a lot of principles that we learn at school that he is carrying into the job,” notes Charlebois, who suggests Patenaude’s summer work experience will help determine his personal social participation project as part of a new program being introduced at HAECC.

Charlebois says Patenaude will also be able to continue working this fall when he returns to school. There is some flexibility in the SIS program, so students can adapt their schedules to allow for work experience. The main goal, she says, is to help students find their place in the community as active citizens.

For now, Patenaude is happy. “I like being here, working!” he exclaims. “The people are nice,” he adds, before pulling his hair net back on to return to his post by the sink.

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1 Comment

Justine Bonczek 2024-07-11 at 09:05

He looks like he is enjoying himself! Glad to see it 🙂


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