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Surrey program opens graduate to a positive future

Unique Surrey food and furniture market changes lives and builds community
For Dominique Ioannou the John Volken Academy program helped him to communicate honestly and connect with others in the community.

For Dominique Ioannou, participating in the John Volken Academy Program helped him to truly change the way he related to others.

The program provides effective, long-term, residential addiction treatment for young men and women, teaching important life skills that help participants stay sober.

Ioannou graduated from the program in Jan. 2021, and is now working in the furniture department at Volken’s Market & Furniture in Surrey. As part of the academy, Volken’s Market trains participants to learn proper life, social and job skills.

“In hind-sight, one of the best things about the program is the connections I’ve been able to make with people,” Ioannou says. “I’ve found similarities with and made friends with people I never would have before. I’ve learned that we have to lean on each other.”

Ioannu, who is himself currently counselling students at Rhodes Wellness College, says that one of the best take-aways the program gave him was self-discipline.

“I never had much structure in my life before – I got up whenever I wanted to,” Ioannou says. “During my time there I definitely learned to use my time wisely!”

He spent an extra eight months in the program for a total of 32 months, to get all he could from it.

Other aspects of the program that he feels were especially important in his development included learning to live in sobriety, communicating openly, and expressing himself honestly.

“I’m a much more honest person now. In the past it was common for me to manipulate others,” Ioannou says, recognizing his previous behaviour was not positive for himself or the community.

“In fact, I lost a good friend prior to entering the program, and I feel that I condoned his behaviour. I’ve made a conscious decision to no longer do disservice to others.”

Ioannou enjoys his time working in the furniture department at Volken’s Market & Furniture, where they sell everything from home office and outdoor patio furniture, to living room, dining room and bedroom sets complete with locally made mattresses – made to order at a great price.

“My favourite part of the day working in the furniture department at Volken’s is helping customers and seeing them leave with a smile!”

Learn more about the products and specials at this unique market on Facebook and Instagram, visit their website or call 604-594-1700 before you visit their store at 6911 King George Blvd.