Achieving Concrete Essentials (A.C.E) Program tweaked during the global pandemic
June 2, 2021
By Bria Cross, Marketing/Communications Officer for Tóta Ma’s Café
(Featured photo: Iawenhontsaieshon Peterson Mcgregor, Head Barista at Tóta Ma’s Café)
In October of 2020, the final cohort of the A.C.E program started with 8 participants enrolling in a five-month period of virtual learning. If you are not sure what A.C.E. is, let me explain. The program acronym is Achieving Concrete Essentials which was designed to enhance employability skills such as, team work, conflict resolution and communication skills through on the job training, or in this case, online learning through Zoom!
The final cohort of the program participated in workshops and training online for five consecutive months; much different than previous learning modules. One fun activity was held December of 2020, the cohort decided on hosting a raffle/fundraiser in support of the Kahnawà:ke Food Bank; a much-needed service during this pandemic! Three groups handled various aspects of the fundraising such as promotions, donations, and accounting. Many valuable skills were developed from the fundraiser experience, communication skills, marketing skills, money management, interpersonal skills, and dependability!
During this past year, some of the participants took on the opportunity to work at Tóta Ma’s Café! If you may not know, Tóta Ma’s Café is a social enterprise that was established through the A.C.E program in 2018. It serves as a learning ground for individuals to gain work experience, and to learn the importance of teamwork and leadership.
Three individuals from the A.C.E 6 cohort continue today to work at the café after the A.C.E Program training portion has ended. They are now working in the positions of Café Coordinator, Marketing and Communications Officer, and the Head Barista!