About Your Speaker
Carpenter & Community Worker
Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Abiola Escalera's pathway to being a carpenter was anything but easy. Growing up, Abiola would help her father with plumbing and at just 14 years old, she started her own business, for which she won an award. At 17, Abiola started work for a construction company where she received her first hands-on experience in the trade. When her family moved to Toronto in 2007, Abiola had to quickly learn how to survive on her own. This led her to leave the trades behind as she pursued a career as a medical esthetician. It wasn't until the 2020 pandemic when Abiola realized how much she missed the camaraderie and hands-on aspect of the trades. She changed course once again and returned to the skilled trades, this time excelling in carpentry. Outside of the trades, Abiola is a community animator with Toronto Community Housing. Abiola is excited to give back by sharing her journey in the trades and speaking about the valuable life skills she picked up along the way.