When we last caught up with Lisa, a 2020 graduate of Pathways Vancouver, she spoke about how Pathways staff encouraged her to take care of her mental health. It was timely advice. As the pandemic kicked off and Lisa’s senior year classes went online, both of her parents lost their jobs. During this challenging time, Lisa also had to decide which post-secondary program she would attend. To help her stay on track, Pathways staff helped Lisa set up meetings with professionals and pointed her to scholarship workshops. That support meant Lisa could take a bit of time to focus on her well-being.
That help went a long way. Lisa went on to post-secondary studies at Simon Fraser University, and she also got into the habit of using all the support available to her. “I think one thing I really learned through Pathways is that other people can help you find your way,” she reflects. “That helped me feel less stuck in difficult situations.”
Since graduating from high school, Lisa has put this message into practice. Now, she makes the most of opportunities to connect with others. In 2022, for example, she got involved in the Pathways Alumni Ambassador Weekend in Toronto, where she caught up with fellow alumni also planning out their future. That same year, she took a chance and applied for an internship with Trulioo, a Canadian fintech firm specializing in identity verification. Lisa was initially hired as a coop student in accounting before having her contract extended and joining the marketing team. “It’s a big company, so I get to meet people from all across Canada. Pathways really prepared me to work with many different people.”
Despite significant barriers, Pathways helped Lisa get to graduation and learn from others. Now, she’s ready to take the next step and support others. That’s why she joined Simon Frasier University’s Senate as an Undergraduate Student Senator for the Faculty of Business Administration.
“I ran for Senate to make sure that students in my university had access to the services they needed, just like I had access to Pathways,” Lisa explains. “I kept getting messages from students about the challenges they were facing, and it made me realize that this kind of work is very important.”