Roxanne McDonald-BrownOwner : Renew Medi Spa
Roxanne's Story :
Hi, my name is Roxanne. I was born and raised in Rexdale Ontario, which is a suburb inside of Toronto.
As a child I saw first hand what it meant to have a strong work ethic. My parents would often work double shifts to ensure my sister and I had what we required. This strong work ethic has always stuck with me. I began working at the McDonalds down the road at the age of 14.
At that time I was to determine a career path with my guidance counselor. I remember discussing my desire to pursue nursing and inquiring about the appropriate prerequisites. To my dismay, my guidance counselor discouraged me from nursing as it was “really really hard”, and suggested I pursue something such as fashion!
To this day I can remember how that statement made me feel. I felt judged and perceived as inferior.
I continued working part time jobs while in high school. I volunteered within the community of Rexdale in classrooms. At the age of 18 I dropped out of high school to pursue a career in fashion. I slowly worked my way up the ranks of lower management, eventually becoming an assistant store manager at 19.
At this time I became pregnant with my daughter. As a single teenage mom I learned quickly there are definitely some associated stigmas.
My beautiful daughter was born with a rare kidney disease which lead to frequent trips to the hospital and late nights. During our time spent in and out of hospitals I witnessed first hand what a difference those angels in comfortable footwear make. I thought to myself I need to do this.
At the age of 21, I left my job in a retail store to go back to high school to obtain my GED. In the process, I learned I had to return to grade 10 to complete my required credits for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. I quickly went through what little savings I had while working towards a GED. I went on social assistance. I sat in the social assistance office patiently waiting my turn to be called in expecting it to be some terrible experience. The worker greeted me with a smile and told me it was going to be ok, she typed quickly while I spoke and within 1 hour had set up subsidized child care, social assistance benefits and help with housing.
The following December 4th I received the greatest letter I have received in my whole life, I had been accepted to Fleming College’s Registered Practical Nursing program for January 10th. I had just over 30 days to find child care and housing while the rest of my family prepared to move to Halifax. The staff at the Peterborough social assistance office were kind and compassionate, they quickly helped me find everything myself and my daughter required. I fell in love with Peterborough, it is a lovely city with a wonderful sense of community.
Since moving to Peterborough I met my husband, and our family has grown into a wonderful family of 5. I finished nursing school with a diploma in Registered Practical Nursing. I have since worked in various aspects of nursing such as retirement, community and a hospital setting. In 2016 I went back to school once again, this time to Centennial College to obtain a certificate as a Medical Esthetic Practitioner.
I now spend most of my days as an entrepreneur at my medical spa Renew Medi Spa Peterborough where I am privileged to do what I absolutely love. I have the autonomy to build relationships and help my patients feel their best. I do my best to give back to the community that has given me so much. I enjoy volunteering when I can in hope to instill the same work ethic and sense of community into my own children. My one hope that anyone takes away from my 30 some odd years of experience in life, never let anyone define you, or let you feel less than because you decide your own self worth.