Kierra's Life-Changing FLIK Apprenticeship Experience

Being a passionate and enthusiastic person, I have always been interested in making the world a better place. This was previously looked at as a thought-experiment, rather than an actual obtainable goal. It was only until I was involved with FLIK where I realized that:  “Yes, I can do this. I can change the world – and I can do it alongside an amazing group of women!”

FLIK provides an opportunity for your dreams, thoughts and passions to grow into true, attainable accomplishments.

Through instilling confidence, support as well as compassion, FLIK feels like my second family (yup! Michelle, that makes you my FLIK mom! ~ lol). Similar to my immediate family, FLIK truly believes in each of its members and genuinely wants to see all of them succeed and grow. This also includes helping founders – I have witnessed FLIK provide helpful feedback as well as support to founders in an effort to help see them succeed.

It has been less than 2 months, and I am currently an apprentice for One Stop Therapy and SustainED. I have participated in activities which I never previously would have been exposed to such as interviewing users, social media outreach, event planning, and so much more (I swear – the list is endless and I love it)! Every day I get to try something new!

Something which I never truly experienced before FLIK was my opinion being truly valued and heard.

As a result of being so passionate and enthusiastic, I have been disregarded and neglected on numerous occasions.

Unfortunately, I feel many women experience this as well. However, through FLIK I have seen that I should not expose myself to such toxic treatment and even more, I shouldn't just sit back and think I deserve it.

I am loved. I am valued. And I deserve to be heard.

This was first experienced in my interview with Daniela, from One Stop Therapy.

I was immediately accepted as someone who has knowledgeable insight and was respected as an individual. It was through her kindness and outlook on life that I was integrated within the team – and just to reiterate this was IN the interview. It has only grown since then and sometimes I feel that her passions have extended from Vancouver all the way to me in Toronto (albeit virtually). She inspires me constantly (at least once a day – yes even if we don’t talk, I Daniela never fails to inspire me). She supports me with anything I need, and inspires me to be the best version of myself.

My personality is encouraged, and I do not have to suppress myself to fit in with typical standards which women feel they must in particular fields. I am truly appreciated.

A similar experience occurred in my apprenticeship with SustainED.

I think the best way to describe it is to begin with Wen and Erin, the co-founders of this not-for-profit organization which focuses on sustainability. Let’s just say that whenever we are in contact, it does not feel like your typical employee-boss relationship. I am talking to two friends who both want to see me succeed in whichever direction I choose to go. To them, I am an equal – I am treated with respect and am trusted to make decisions. My ideas are not disregarded nor do they ever make me feel inferior. Yet – they are simultaneously my mentors. I guess you can say we have a weird Freud relationship going on… (not sure – I didn’t take First Year Psych lol). They give me any tools and resources I need then I have the freedom to make whatever I imagine with it.  It is this creativity and freedom which will continue to resonate with me, and one day will be transferred to a similar management style to my future employees - when I one day found my own company.

Again, there must be some magic spell that FLIK has been using because in such little time, I feel I have grown into someone I am incredibly proud of. I have gained confidence in myself, as well as the work I do. I have a purpose which can be acted upon.

I have been fortunate to have extraordinary mentors, Daniela (from One Stop Therapy) and Wen & Erin (SustainED), which all exemplify an uplifting mentality.

These relationships I have built, along with those made with other apprentices are ones which will last a lifetime.

Wow – I cannot express in words how much FLIK has done for me already.

I still remember where I was sitting when I first went on the FLIK portal website (for my fellow Mustangs at Western University I was in the FIMS and Nursing building). It sounds cheesy but it was raining all week, except that particular day – it was so bright and sunny! (If my life was a story that would be a prime example of the rhetorical device of pathetic fallacy).

So to those of you on the FLIK portal website reading this message right now, I encourage you to take that risk, step out of your comfort zone, and join a motivated and passionate group of women. Help us change the world to be better – because you can.

Written By: Kierra Holowachuk

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