Lisa SmithAssistant Director, Strategic Partnerships - Peterborough Housing Corporation
Lisa's Story :
A memory of my grandfather keeps coming to mind as I write this. My mother grew up in a small Maritime community – and if you know anything about Maritimers they are a direct yet fun bunch to spend your time with. My family made an annual summer pilgrimage to my grandparents in New Brunswick with lots of family, friends, and childhood shenanigans. When I was in high school, my grandfather asked what I thought I may do as an adult. We chatted about different options but it was a statement he made that has stuck with me throughout my life … our conversation went something like this “women deserve to have what they need to look out for themselves, so plan and live your life so you can stand on your own two feet no matter what happens … oh and go to university (that’s the Maritimer direct bit).” I knew at that moment I wanted to be the best version of myself I could be and that an important person in my life thought I had the capacity and should have the opportunity. This foundation of love and support is what has sustained me throughout my life – combined with the fact that women in my family are a force of nature helps too!
After University, I thought I was on my way to a career in corporate Canada. As I went through the process of interviewing, I began to ask myself is this really what I want to do and is this really who I am? I quickly realized the answer when I took a chance on a short-term contract with a non-profit building economic stability for women living in rural Ontario. I feel into my niche. Its always been important to me to do something I love. My career has given me energy and fueled my passion to excel at what I do. The better I am at my job, means I am a better asset to my community. Working in social service, combined with volunteering and involvement with organizations like Rotary, I get to wake up every day and know that my efforts help to make someone’s life a little better.
That’s inspiring work even on the days when its really tough and you carry the weight of what others are dealing with.