Written by: Clarissa Wall
Who: Emily Poversky
Hometown: Steveston, B.C.
3 Things she can’t live without: Cell phone, friends, & water!
Originally from Donestk, Ukraine, Emily has spent nearly her entire 22 years of life growing up in picturesque Steveston – an area of Richmond, BC. I first met Emily while we were both working as call centre agents for Canada Revenue Agency. We spent two tax seasons bonding between phone calls, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to meet her and now to call her a friend. If I had to describe Emily in one word, I’d say she’s determined. She works hard and can do anything she puts her mind to!
At 22 years old, she has just graduated with her Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting. She spent five years at Langara College to earn her degree, and now she sees it as her biggest accomplishment. Emily says that there were many times, especially in the beginning, that she really thought she wouldn’t make it. Yet, she never gave up – despite the temptation – and she’s glad she didn’t. She says it’s “such a good feeling knowing that you’ve accomplished something meaningful.” She’s currently working as a receptionist at a dental office in Richmond and enjoying her summer before she starts the rigorous Chartered Professional Accountant program this September.
We talk a little about her childhood and growing up, and for Emily, family was a huge part of it. Her parents took her and her younger sister on a number of trips, which Emily reflects on fondly. They went to both Disneyland and Disney World, and to a number of European countries: England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy… some of them twice! Despite this, Emily has never been back to her birth country, Ukraine. She still has family there and worries for them as Donestk is in the middle of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Emily dreams of travelling to France again, and visiting more of Europe. She loves the culture and history, and wants an opportunity to use her French. She went to immersion school and graduated high school with a French diploma, but rarely gets the chance to speak it.
Growing up, Emily says she took karate lessons and piano, but she was always very shy. She tells me that she never joined any school clubs or teams, due in part to her shyness. She says that overcoming this has been her biggest challenge. She worked really hard to become more outgoing and meet more people. Her advice to anyone struggling with the same issue?
“Try to be friends with people that are outgoing so you’re surrounded by people who force you out of your bubble.”
This last year, Emily has seen a lot of changes in her life. Not only has she finished her undergrad degree, she has also completely re-booted her health and fitness. About a year ago she decided to move outside of her comfort zone with exercise and has seen great results. She says she feels amazing, has a ton of energy, and feels more confident about herself. This newfound fitness led Emily to Olympic National Park last summer where she hiked over 34 kilometres in less than 24 hours. I asked how she felt at the end and she replied, “I felt very accomplished knowing I could do something not everyone could finish.” This achievement pushed her further into her workout routine.
Emily says her mother is her idol, “she is always pushing me to pass through obstacles,” and also her younger sister, “she always has something extraordinary going on in her life and has accomplished a lot for a 17-year-old.” If Emily had the chance to give her 15 year old self a piece of advice, it would be to “open up herself to more opportunities.”