Cassandra finds her entrepreneurial spirit

Cassandra was an active 22 year old woman who worked in retail and enjoyed spending time with her friends.

One day her life changed completely. While she was working her way through an outdoor obstacle course, Cassandra had a stroke (new window). The stroke left her with Ataxia (new window), double vision (new window), and difficulty speaking clearly. Cassandra now says the only thing she does the same as before her stroke is sleep. It’s been a long road to recovery for her, and she continues her process every day.

Cassandra works with Ability New Brunswick (new window) to develop her daily living skills such as budgeting, housing, and transportation. She hadn’t been thinking of getting back to work, but three years after her stroke her Transition Planner suggested she think about employment opportunities and referred her to the Working Together program.

Cassandra wasn’t sure about her physical abilities since her stroke. Initially, she considered returning to her job in retail that she had before her stroke. She also considered going to college to study fashion design, a passion of hers.

However, she decided to make her own path — she decided to pursue self-employment.

The decision came after Cassandra hosted a “Paint and Sip” party, where, as part of a group, she followed the instructions of an art teacher to create a painting. Cassandra was amazed at how well she could paint and decided she wanted to continue to paint and sell her paintings online. She also decided to become an Arbonne consultant, so she can work from home and promote her business online.

Cassandra says the Working Together program helped her get organized. She started using a folder to file and organize her paperwork and feels the career assessment pushed her to move forward.

The program also left her with a new perspective. In the past, she would not have considered doing volunteer work to gain skills and meet new people, but she recently volunteered at a Gala for Ability New Brunswick and said it was a great opportunity.

Cassandra describes herself as organized, self-motivated, determined, and an initiator.

She wants to be the best version of herself and if anyone says she can’t do it, she says, “Watch me!”

Cassandra’s advice to others in a similar situation is, “Don’t worry so much about what other people think about you. Just do what you have to do. Get better. The most important thing is yourself. Don’t let anyone slow you down.”