Many people don’t know that I was born and grew up in the United States. I moved to Canada in 2014. Not long after arriving I volunteered as a tutor for an after school program in the Eritrean Community. That program finished when the kids headed out for summer vacation so I had lots of time on my hands as I waited for my Canadian work permit to arrive. As I was exploring the downtown streets of my new home, I stumbled upon a bright green sign that read “Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba” (WECM). I studied Entrepreneurship and Business Management as part of my undergrad degree at the University of Northern Kentucky, so this naturally sparked my curiosity. I decided to go in.
As soon as I walked through the doors, I was greeted by a woman with a warm smile and eagerness to help me. I told her that I was looking for summer volunteer opportunities and asked if there were any available at the Centre. Sandra, WECM’s CEO, overheard the conversation and seemed to have something in mind for me. After sharing a few details about my education, Sandra smiled and said “send me your resume.” Excited by the possibility of being able to volunteer with this organization, I sent her my resume before the end of that day and to my luck, began volunteering almost immediately. Fast-forward to today, I am now working full-time as the Loans Administrator at WECM.
A lot of us are scared to take chances and because of this we tend to get in the way of our own success. If you’ve always wanted to walk into that one shop to connect with that owner, go for it! Interested in what the woman next to you on the bus is reading and want to know more? Talk to her. If I ignored my curiosity and walked past WECM’s doors, I may have never ended up where I am today. Trust your gut, take chances, and never be afraid to grow from a new experience. You just never know where life will take you.
– Lwam Eyassu