Retail Foundations: "The world is your oyster in retail!"

On a sunny afternoon in February, fifteen newly-certified graduates from our retail training program gathered with family and friends to celebrate their success. New Circles Executive Director Alykhan Suleman welcomed the crowd and congratulatory messages were offered by the Honorable Michael Coteau, MPP –Don Valley East and our program partners.    

“The world is your oyster in retail!” said Kyle Tomlin of the Retail Council of Canada. “It’s an exciting time in the industry. While stores are closing, many stores are opening, as well, and there are lots of opportunities to join the industry at the entry level and work your way up. Look for a retailer that matches your passion and interests.” 

Course instructor Rufina Basu noted, “Retail is fun, frustrating and it is a career.” She encouraged graduates to set goals each day, maintain high standards, and go to work each day with a positive attitude.   

Rashid Vepari, class valedictorian, also shared a message with the graduates. “Congratulations on passing the program requirements, and thank you for helping me grow as an individual,” he said. “It was not an easy hill to climb, but together we made it and pulled through as a team. I would not have been able to succeed on my own, so thank you for your support every step of the way.”

He closed with a quote from his favorite movie, The Pursuit of Happiness: “Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something, if you got a dream, a vision or goal, you have to protect it. If you want something, go get it. PERIOD.”

Sincere thanks to our volunteer course instructors Andrea Bartell, Rufina Basu, Tanya Goldberg, Fran Grundman, Daniela Tiger and Andrea Wolff, and to our program partners the Retail Council of Canada and the Labour Education Centre - Employment Ontario.

We gratefully acknowledge the Counselling Foundation of Canada (lead funder), The Slaight Foundation, The Sprott Foundation and the Tippet Foundation for their generous support of the Retail Foundations program. 

New Circles' GLOW clothing service is the largest clothing bank in Toronto. We help 9,000 families annually.