SACKVILLE, N.B. – Jade Terrio isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.
At 17 years old and set to graduate from Tantramar Regional High School this June, she is getting ready to take on a path most girls her age don’t typically consider – and has spent the past couple of years getting ready for it.
Jade will be pursuing a career in trades come this fall, having been accepted to New Brunswick Community College in Moncton for the carpentry program.
The Sackville student says her interest in woodworking and carpentry began at a young age, when she would watch her dad, her grandfather and her cousins do this type of work – sometimes getting the opportunity to join in.
“So I guess it kind of runs in the family,” says Jade.
Her interest has only continued to grow over the years, and so has her involvement.
So when she began considering post-secondary education options at the end of her Grade 10 year, it didn’t really come as much of a surprise to anyone that’s the direction she began heading. She’s been taking a number of shop and woodworking classes throughout Grade 11 and 12 and is even doing a high school co-op work placement this semester at Mount Allison University’s ca
And if that wasn’t enough, Jade has also spent the past few summers working with her dad Scott doing construction and property management work for cottagers along the Amherst Shore, a stretch that runs from Pugwash to Cape Tormentine.
From mowing lawns to doing room renovations to building new decks and setting up lawn furniture, the two essentially “open and close cottages” for clients, mainly those who live outside the Maritimes.
Scott says he and his two daughters spend much of their summer down at the beach anyway so when the opportunity came up to take over some of these jobs from another property management operator, he approached Jade with the idea. She was already doing a lot of the lawn care around their own cottage and had spent a few weeks the summer before putting on a new roof on their neighbour’s cottage; so she jumped at the chance.
The father-and-daughter duo have even started up their own business together – T&T Construction and Property Management – and Jade says she’s been enjoying the experience so far. She likes being able to work with her hands and “turning something old into something new,” adding that one of her favourite jobs so far was gutting one of the rooms in a cottage and renovating it.
“I like when we take something out of nothing and make it into something.”
At five-foot two inches and a mere 110 pounds, Jade says it’s not unusual at times for some of the cottagers or homeowners to give her a questioning look when she arrives on site.
“They seem sort of shocked at first. But then they’ll sometimes say to me, ‘good for you, there’s not many girls in that field so it’s nice to see.”
Jade says for those who aren’t quite as convinced about her abilities, however, she always sees it as a bit of a challenge to change their perception. When she hears the words ‘go help Jade with this,’ she says it simply gives her more motivation to prove herself. Picking up real heavy loads, for instance, is often times a challenge for her but she says she does her best to show she can do it - and if she can’t, she’s never afraid to ask for help.
Jade and her dad have even ventured into the installation of seamless gutters, recently taking over for a local businessman who was looking for someone to run his operation. They have been working and training with him for about a year now, manufacturing and installing gutters on homes in the area, and have just this month gone out on their own.
Jade says she has enjoyed tackling the gutter work, although she found it a bit of a struggle at first to get used to the heights, particularly when up on the 60-foot ladder.
“I was nervous at first but I’m getting used to the heights now,” she says.
Being in business with her dad has given her some real hands-on experience, she says, not only on the construction and carpentry side of things but also learning skills in areas such as time management, communication and finances.