Beyhan's Story

Lesley and Beyhan at Grad

“Why would you settle for a job like that with all your education and experience?”

At first, Beyhan didn’t know how to answer her son. Yes, she had experience in business management and bookkeeping, and had graduated with an honours certificate as an accounting clerk.

But she also had endured so many years of abuse that her self-worth was shredded.

Beyhan became part of Interval House’s BESS (Building Economic Self Sufficiency) program, a two-week workshop where women complete a skills inventory, learn to write a resume and cover letter, conduct a job search, prepare for an interview and develop life skills.

Graduates have a 75% employment rate within their field and a 90% job retention rate.

“I was so impressed with the teaching. In BESS, I learned to speak the language of the job posting and make sure I answer their requirements. I discovered my qualifications and transferrable skills for the first time. After one week in the program, I felt I could apply for any position.”

Upon completion of the program, Beyhan and the other graduates received two sets of polished and professional clothes to help them maintain their new-found confidence and to compliment the knowledge and skills they now possess.

“When you are in an abusive relationship for so long, even if you have a strong personality, it takes away your courage. I was underestimating myself and now I’m no longer afraid. BESS gave me self-confidence. Any woman coming out of an abusive relationship needs this program.”

Our heart-felt congratulations to Beyhan for being named BESS valedictorian!