Maddy L.

When she was still a newcomer, Maddy discovered the existence of proms − a tradition yet unknown to her −, by sewing decorations on the dress of a colleague at a Côte-des-Neiges bakery where she worked. She had taken this job, unrelated to her studies, because one has to pay the rent! Still, it is there that she established her first network of Montreal friends, people who helped her understand the school system and the work place in Quebec.

Maddy comes from the French town of Sarlat in Dordogne. She arrived here with her spouse, who comes from Bergerac. Having completed the equivalent of a master's degree in Sociology of Work in Bordeaux, she worked in that city for a few years in the community sector and held precarious positions as an employment counselor.

After that first job, she managed to successfully valorize her local work experience as well as her efforts to integrate the local work force. From then on, she held various positions directly related to her academic formation. After living in more central areas of the city, the purchase of her home brought her to this borough.

Mother of two children, one of the things she appreciates about life in Montreal is the opportunity to send them to an alternative school. The family now lives in a duplex near the Parc des Hirondelles, a neighborhood where many people from the great waves of Italian immigration of the 50s and 60s still reside.

Her spouse, who had found a job in his field upon arrival, has since recycled. Abandoning electronics, he completed a Diploma of Vocational Studies in woodworking, a profession in which he is much happier.

Maddy’s work schedule may surprise many people who believe that long work weeks occur only in the private sector. In addition to a full-time position at the Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi Ahuntsic-Bordeaux-Cartierville, she devotes some 20 additional hours each week to the agency "Mon toit, Mon Cartier", where she chairs the board.

The mandate of this non-profit organization is to help single mothers and their children by providing them with transitional housing and support. In the summer of 2015, the agency has opened its first building where 14 vulnerable women will stay with their kids. Located in a disadvantaged area, the building is topped with a green roof that will serve as a community garden with the hope the the residants and their kids will develop a taste for fresh food  grown with pride. The garden had a good first summer.

I asked her if sometimes the daily contact with vulnerable people going through difficult times was a burden. She said, no, on the contrary! Being a good nature, she tends to trust others and is happy to make a difference. Her smile and laughing eyes say it all!

Maddy in her office at Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi - Ahuntsic Bordeaux Cartierville