Montreal-born Mikaelle has been volunteering at the Thrive Thrift Shop since January of 2017. She took our Leadership Development Program and after graduation started training new volunteers, which she now does in addition to being our head cashier on Saturdays. We asked Mikaelle how she felt about working at Thrive. For example, did she see any challenges at first, and if so, how did she overcome them?

“When I first started volunteering at Thrive, I felt super shy,” admits Mikaelle, “because my previous employers did not accommodate my health needs, so I was concerned there would be the same problems here at Thrive. Not so! In fact, at Thrive I feel very valued. The people here understand and respect me.”

“I admit there have sometimes been challenges just dealing with the public. That can take its toll on you. But in fact I don’t avoid it, rather I choose to accept it, find and follow the proper protocol. And, if I still find myself drained from it, well, then I just take a few minutes to balance myself.”

Mikaelle’s decision to face challenges head-on has in fact helped her gain confidence in problem solving and dealing with customers. She enjoys it more now.

“Oh yes,” agrees Mikaelle, “In fact it seems like I’m always laughing now. People here make me laugh a lot! So, yes, it’s enjoyable. I especially enjoy the diversity of people, not only the different ethnicities but also different types of people.”

What are her immediate plans for the future?

“I believe I will benefit by continuously developing my work ethic,” confirms Mikaelle. “Problem solving and exploring new areas to help me gain experience when I enter new employment.”

We’d say that was spoken like a leader!

At Thrive I feel very valued. The people here understand and respect me.