Episode 6: Nicole and Junaid


Junaid Abbasi

Junaid was born breech and suffered from seizures at a young age, leaving him with developmental delays. He now works full-time as a labourer for Mammoet, an engineering and heavy lifting company. His contribution to his workplace is not just seen through his excellent job performance, his supervisors and co-workers are grateful for the happiness he carries with him and shares every day. He loves his job because it gives him a sense of place and meaning.

“I work here Monday to Friday, five days a week. It’s really good here. I like it.” — Junaid Abbasi

Photo: Alejandra Pavez

Nicole Almberg

Nicole takes her position on the production team at the Organic Box very seriously. Born with Down syndrome, she has a strong sense of self that her parents began to foster at a young age. Starting out at the Organic Box with little work experience, Nicole quickly showed that, with the right guidance and tasks, she is a hard-worker who brings humour and dedication to all that she does.

“I am the one who is responsible for my job and I’m taking this seriously.” — Nicole Almberg

Nasreen Abbasi

Nasreen thinks of her son, Junaid, as a gift from God. She is grateful for the support Junaid has found at Mammoet and how it has helped him mature and grow.

“Actually, there’s lots of people who does not talk about the disabilities much. They keep it to themselves, like I don’t know what they feel about it, but I do feel he is special to us; he is a gifted by God.” — Nasreen Abbasi

Lori Almberg

Lori is Nicole’s mother. Through her experience raising a child with Down syndrome she has learned the importance of seeing every individual as unique.

“We’ve always set the bar high with Nicole, we’ve always had high expectations.” — Lori Almberg

Marc Biollo

As the Chief Marketing Officer for Chrysalis, Mark is able to work closely with people with disabilities to provide training and vocational opportunities.

“This job is important to Junaid because it gives him meaning.” — Marc Biollo

Vickie Mancini

Vickie is the Manager for Employment Services with the Gateway Association. She worked with Nicole to find her the right fit at the Organic Box.

“[People with disabilities have] been opted out, really, of employment, and so that was her biggest barrier.” — Vickie Mancini