Jenna Milne

Jenna Milne

Job at Qualicum Beach hardware store is kids’ stuff

Teen earns $2,000 scholarship through employment at Dolly's Home Hardware

Working at Dolly’s Home Hardware through her school years helped Jenna Milne decide which path to take for her career. Then it helped put her on that path.

Milne, a 2016 Kwalikum Secondary School graduate, was awarded this year a $2,000 scholarship by the Building Supply Industry Association of B.C., one of just five granted by BSIA each year. Her application, sponsored by Dolly’s Home Hardware, eased her transition to Vancouver Island University, where she is now studying science in preparation to go on to nursing school.

“Before I started working here I was kind of shy, and this job helped me become more confident in myself and less shy,” said Milne. “I feel it set me on the path I wanted to go on. Seeing I can help people and put a smile on their face makes me feel really good.”

Dolly’s Home Hardware has been hiring student employees for years, said manager Doreen Patterson, who has been with the business for 22 years. She said a group of students will typically be hired for part-time work while in Grade 9, with the idea they can work part-time — and possibly full-time in the summers — throughout their high school years.

“Kids need training and they need an opportunity to work,” said Patterson. “It takes about a year to train a student — OK, it takes about a year to train an adult, too — and they’re awesome employees.”

Patterson has worked all of her 22 years with Bryan Virgin, who co-owns the business with his wife Liz. She said the students initially hired were members of Bryan’s extended family and other employees.

That hiring principle has expanded, sometimes through recommendations from school teachers or families of students who have previously worked at Home Hardware, to include more students like Milne, who had no connection to the store.

The young student remembers having a friend of the family bringing her a job application from Dolly’s in her Grade 9 year, which she filled out and took back to the store.

“I dropped it off, and Liz (Virgin) and I talked for a while, then she said, ‘See you on Wednesday,’” said Milne. “I was nervous, because I’m in Grade 9 and it’s my first job. But everyone was so nice; I think it helps being in a small town.”

Milne worked one weekday after school, and one day on the weekend through the school year, which Patterson said is the typical student schedule. Students may pick up more hours during their summer break from school, and Milne said she worked essentially full-time this past summer to generate funds for school.

“I think having students is a big part of what they do,” Milne said.

“It certainly adds more flexibility to our workforce,” Patterson added. “They’re able to work one day a week and one weekend, and they’re able to help in the summer so the rest of us can have time off.”

Last fall, as Milne began putting together scholarship applications during her final year of secondary school, Liz Virgin brought her the BSIA scholarship application. Milne said she had to fill out the application and include a short essay describing herself and explaining why she needed the funds.

She said the process took about five weeks.

“When they told me I got it, I had kind of forgotten about it,” Milne said with a laugh. “The first thing I did was text Liz and tell her thank you.”

Just Posted

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read