It’s never too early to start planning for the future. That’s why Jay Patel, 15, hasn’t simply learned web development through Student Links—he’s developed a set of skills that he hopes will have a direct application to the family business. Patel worked with Rohit Prasad, his mentor and a recent graduate of Software Engineering and Industrial Design. Together, the pair designed a web site concept for his father’s metalwork company, D and J Fabrication in North York. Jay developed content and populated the web site. The best part was that the concept was not just an exercise—there are plans to launch the web site as part of his father’s business.
Jay’s excitement for learning was evident from the get-go. “Meeting Jay was really exciting because he reminded me of myself when I was in high school,” recalled Rohit. “He loves technology, he’s super eager to learn and he’s willing to try new things. So when we first met, we decided it would be a good idea to learn how to create a simple web site. I’d walk him through it and he could keep exploring other possibilities on his own.”
Jay seems to be doing just that. Not only is he developing the site for D and J Fabrication, he hopes to take over the company himself one day. He’s trained for that potential eventuality, having helped out over the years. “I’ve seen a lot of physical metal work, and I figured I felt strong enough to be able to take over that stuff,” he boasted. “I’ve known how to use a lot of machines. I use the welding machine. I use the punching machine, pretty much everything.”
Rohit gained something from spending time with Jay as well. “It was great being exposed to Jay’s eagerness to learn, but also at the same time, it felt great to impart knowledge, to be able to teach something you’re passionate about, and work with someone equally passionate about it.
Since their time together, Rohit has taken a job in Germany, but the positive relationship he developed with Jay has left its mark. “We’re going to keep in touch, and I like to think he’s learned as much from me as I did from the whole experience!”
The opportunity with Student Links has given Jay what he believes is a strong direction to focus on as he completes high school, saying “I’d like to start taking IT courses, business, stuff like that.”
In addition to possibly taking over the family business one day, Jay is exploring the idea of opening his own IT company, which may assist D and J Fabrication as well. Planning for the future, indeed!
A whole new world of possibilities opened up for Jay and for many other youth across Ontario because of the Student Links initiative. You too can make a difference on #GivingTuesday. Your donation will help to support Community Living Ontario’s activities so that students like Jay can find their passion and develop lasting relationships in their community.
Want to become a mentor yourself? For more information, contact:
Joel MacIntyre jmacIntyre@communitylivingontario.ca (416) 447-4348 ext. 236
Linda White firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 447-4348 ext. 239