During my time volunteering as a program andproposal writing assistant at Heritage Skills Development Centre, I met a14-year-old girl and her grandfather who revealed they were immigrants and werelooking for help related to depression that stemmed from culturalappropriation. Learning this made it clear for me that I wanted to commit tothe well-being of individuals, specifically to both youth and elderly. Throughout my research I realized how adjustingto a new environment can greatly impact the direction of immigrants. Communitiesin Scarborough, who are unfamiliar with the health system can experience identitycrises which can influence mental health issues. I took the initiative toactively reach out to individuals at our Canada Celebrates 150 event, who facedchallenges with social support networks and health literacy. Iwas able to help write a research proposal to get funding to facilitate healthylifestyle workshops, which included mental health and stress management.
Thishelped develop the self-esteem of participants through social-unity. I foundthis experience very rewarding as I helped boost the confidence levels andself-esteem of the community. I havecome to realize that strong community partnerships equal strong care. Workingwith the Toronto Central LHIN supported my ability to build lastingrelationships with multidisciplinary health care professionals, communityagencies, and most importantly, with clients and families. I also gained abetter understanding of how to navigate the health system and how important itis to obtain the right care when one needs it.
I initially gained insight into nursing and health care whenI volunteered at Bendale Acres – Long Term Care Home. This organization allowed me to connect with residentswhich highlighted the importance of caring for the elderly. Through myexperience at Bendale Acres, I acknowledgedthe significant level of emotional labor required when caring for others withhigh needs. From an empathetic point of view, I was able to demonstratekindness and compassion to individuals from diverse backgrounds. The level ofcomfort I achieved with the residents, improved the set of skills I used tobetter connect and communicate with my ill grandmother at home.From 2010 – 2016, I worked at TimHortons as a team member and transitioned to the role of assistant supervisor. This experience enabled me to activelylisten and communicate with my customers and team members.
The abilityto multi-task with orders and time manage allowed me to be successful in the workplace. The fast-paced environmentstrengthened my ability to confidently diffuse situations of conflict, bylistening to the customer’s concerns before providing a response. I found thisoverall experience very rewarding and it will contribute to my success in thisaccelerating nursing program.As a UofT graduate, UofT’s values resonateperfectly with my own. It is UofT’s reputation for excellence through practice andresearch-based education that will push me to perform over and above. I aminterested in improving the care of individuals by addressing the barriers ofhealth equity for vulnerable populations.