Staff Interview with Ivona

I’ve worked with Mind forward since April 2003. Over the years, I’ve had many rewarding experiences, but one that sticks out is when I worked with a client who needed help decluttering her home. Her goal was to sell her home but she didn’t know where to begin to get it ready for market. We worked together twice a week for two years, room by room, section by section, until it was finally complete. With patience, perseverance, trust, and team work we finally reached our goal! The best part was she was able to sell at top dollar and move into a new home that better suited her family’s needs.

My work has made me appreciate the little things that others often take for granted. I try to stop and “smell the flowers”, call a friend to say how much I appreciate them, not sweat the small stuff, and take “me time” on a regular basis. Working at Mind Forward over the past 20+ years has made me become more patient, empathetic, gentle, understanding and more knowledgeable on differing needs. Overall, I am more open-eyed to everyone’s uniqueness, diversity and abilities, and I’ve become a stronger advocate for equality and inclusion for all.

My favourite Day Program group is Jumpstart. I love challenging and motivating others to move in ways they didn’t think was possible. One of the best feelings is witnessing clients reaching their fitness goals – from not being able to lift 3 lbs to lifting 20 lbs, or from doing less than 5 sit ups to more than 100! With hard work, guidance, and determination the impossible quite often becomes possible in Jumpstart.

The advice I would give to new team members joining the Mind Forward family is to have patience, be kind, be knowledgeable and open to constantly learning more, and always put the client’s needs first. Whatever you do, do it with love, compassion and good intention. Mind Forward is a very special place for our clients and it takes very special staff to keep it that way.