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Smart • Happy • Determined

Her Story

Tessa Scates

Park's Canada

Tessa's Story :

Becoming an Independent Woman

When I was 19, I was coming out of high school and I decided to put in for a job interview at Park’s Canada. It was not an easy decision for me, and I almost didn’t go. I decided to go because I wanted to work at Park’s Canada, and I love being outside. It changed my life and made me happy. Before working at Park’s Canada, I was very shy, and not comfortable doing things by myself. I was afraid to try new things. I started at Lock 22- Nassau Mills and worked with Lockmasters or operators. During my first summer, I had to learn to ride a lawn mower for my job. I had never ridden one before. I loved it so much that I decided to get by driver’s license. All my friends were getting theirs and my Dad really wanted me to get it, so I studied with Alternatives Community Program Services for two years. I took the test twice and got 100% on my second try. I would not have gotten my license if I hadn’t started working at Parks. Now, I even take the public bus to school by myself.

In my second summer at Park’s, the Lockmaster and I worked at Lock 30-Lovesick Lock. You can only get there by boat. I wanted to drive the boat, so I decided to get my Boater’s License. I studied on my days off and my coworkers quizzed me every day. I studied the entire summer and I passed with the test with 96% and got my boater’s license! Now I even drive the seadoo at my family cottage. 

When I was 22, during my 3rd season at Park’s Canada, the Parks manager of operations invited me to the Looper’s Conference for international boaters. We had to wake up early and drive down to Trenton. I spoke in front of 200 people to promote the Trent Severn Waterway and the communities around it. I told all the boaters to go to my family’s ice cream store called Central Smith during their visit! Before Parks, I didn’t like speaking in front of anyone, now the Lockmaster says I can’t stop talking. 

After my first summer at Park’s Canada, I started the Community Integration Through Cooperative Education (CICE) at Fleming College. My time there was different because I had to learn about the college, and I didn’t know anyone yet. I soon started to meet new people and would hang out with them between classes. I didn’t wait to meet friends, I went looking for friends. I made friends with a girl named Becky and helped get her a job at Park’s Canada.

For my co-op program, I really wanted to do it with Park’s Canada so I asked the Asset Management department if I could do my co-op with them, they said yes. I loved my time with them, and it showed!  I worked so hard. I never missed a shift; I was never late. I even went to work with them during Christmas break and Reading week. Fleming heard of my hard work and gave me a co-op award! It was my first college award!

In 2019, I graduated from Fleming College and I made the Dean’s list. I worked so hard on all my schoolwork and I made sure it was edited before I handed it in. College was hard, but I never gave up. I now have my diploma, and I ‘m still working with Park’s Canada. I would love to stay with Park’s Canada, and I have been working hard to be promoted and become an operator on the Trent Severn Waterway. Today I am outgoing, and I like to talk to people now. This is all because I put myself out there with a Park’s Canada job interview. I am very independent and love to do things myself.  I can even cook for myself. Four years ago, I was afraid to try new things or to do things by myself. Today, I’m not afraid of anything! (Except heights and snakes😉)