By Sarah Androsoff, Marketing Services
Just like a kid in a candy store, Stasha deLure can't get enough of learning. "It brings me back to that childlike curiosity and creativity. Learning motivates me to reach for more success," she says. For Stasha, knowledge creates personal empowerment and is a chance to prove to herself what she is capable of accomplishing.
Stasha has professional training geared towards physical therapy and personal training for land and aquatics. She also has a diploma in developmental service work and child psychology. In 2006, Stasha launched her own business called Your Health Connection, which provides support services and in house care. Even with previous education and experience running a business, Stasha wanted to deepen her knowledge and skills. Health care is always evolving, it was important for keep growing as a professional and stay on top of the latest developments in her discipline.
In 2020, at age 47, Stasha started her studies with Continuing Studies at UVic and has enjoyed every moment of being a student again. The first program she took was the Professional Development Certificate in Strategies and Action for Independent Living (SAIL). This program was a great way to learn about current and best practices for providing in home care for people with disabilities. "It helped expand what I'm able to offer through my business and gave me the determination to move forward in whatever area I wanted to pursue," says Stasha.
After finishing the SAIL program, a desire to expand the service options of her business led her to enroll in the Emergency Management for Organizational Continuity (EMOC) program. The comprehensive approach of the program gave her a higher degree of confidence and security as a business owner. "This program helped me adapt my existing protocols and prepare for potential risks," explains Stasha. EMOC also gave her confidence and motivation to take new steps in her career. In June 2023, Stasha became the executive director of Cowichan Valley Independent Living, located in Duncan, BC, which offers various services by and for people with disabilities.
The diverse topics and opportunities that Continuing Studies offered made it hard for her to stop learning. She also found herself taking the High-Risk Foot course to augment her reflexology certification and a landscape design course to spice up her yard.
Learning involves course work, but it is also about connecting with people and feeling part of a community. Stasha noticed that her instructors encouraged all learners, regardless of their skill level or prior experience. For instance, she didn't have much technology experience, but her instructors were willing to provide guidance and help her become proficient using computers and creating presentations. Being surrounded by other students with different skills and experiences also played an important role in her professional growth. "There was such a diversity of careers and skills that everybody brought to the table," Stasha adds. "You're opened to a whole new perspective of how things work in your field by interacting with others and hearing their ideas."
As someone who cares for clients with different disabilities and conditions, it's important to have compassion. If Stasha had one wish, it would be for more kindness in the world. "Remember that everyone is dealing with different challenges in their lives," says Stasha. "We're all just trying to do our best and taking it one day at a time."
Stasha deLure, is the business owner of Your Health Connection and the executive director of Cowichan Valley Independent Living.