Lisa's Story of Courage and Determination

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Hi, my name is Lisa. At the age of 37, I had been hospitalized and it was discovered I had acquired a traumatic brain injury with a secondary seizure disorder due to spousal abuse that I had received years earlier. After that diagnosis, I spent several years visiting multiple doctors, experiencing more hospitalizations, and trying different medications. Finally, I had the good fortune to meet a great psychiatrist that believed in me, which motivated me to return to work.

Previous to my health challenges, I had worked for many years in the field of social work, working my way up from transition homes to respite care, facilitating groups in pre-employment training programs, etc. When I decided to finally go back to work, I found it difficult to secure employment because I had been out of the labour force for so long; that’s when I came to hear about Newton - WorkBC Employment Services.

When I first encountered my amazing Employment Counsellor, I absolutely knew I had come to the right place; I felt truly heard!

The employment services and options were explained to me thoroughly and I felt there was now a defined plan in place I could follow to the end result I desired: securing employment.

My Employment Counsellor understood that I had a lot of experience and passion for social work and I knew there was still a lot of demand in this field. I attended workshops at WorkBC to determine that training was a possibility for me. My Employment Counsellor supported me in every way to ensure I would be successful. I was referred to the Neil Squire Society, met with an occupational therapist, and applied for and received the assistive technology that I required for schooling.

I felt that everyone I encountered at WorkBC wanted me to be successful and my Employment Counsellor was my greatest cheerleader. I was determined to do well in school to show my appreciation for everything that they had done for me. I maintained Honor Roll status throughout the duration of my studies. This surprised my doctor due to the damage done to my left temporal lobe.  I finished my schooling successfully and was offered the Community Support Worker position at the Semiahmoo House Society in Surrey.

A sincere thank you to everyone at Newton WorkBC! I am forever grateful.


WorkBC is the provincial government's access point to the world of work in British Columbia. It was created with one key goal — to help all British Columbians to successfully navigate B.C.'s labour market.