I was born in the former Soviet Union (in Ukraine). At the time, we were under the Russian propaganda and with it came political censorship.
Ukraine has always been in political chaos. I came to Canada when the Orange Revolution happened in my home country in the year 2004.
It turned many people’s lives upside down including my own. I was worried about leaving everyone behind, but I needed to do what was best for my family.
It was very difficult to leave home and move my entire life to a new country, but in many ways Canada has given me many more opportunities than Ukraine, and I am very grateful to be here.
One thing I am very sad about is losing my family. I miss them a lot, especially my mom who has always been a source of positivity and my support system.
I became a librarian because I love reading and I love to help people, which is a great combination for a librarian. This will be my fifth year working for Humber College North campus library as a library technician.
When I was a kid, my grandma read Ukrainian folktales to me. She was the most passionate in our family about reading and I think she instilled that in me.
I like non-fiction books in different subjects, my favourite being a biography of Maya Angelou and more recently, Becoming by Michelle Obama.
In my spare time, my daughter and I go to attend the ballet and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I am passionate about art and music. When I was younger, I used to play the Ukrainian instrument bandura.
I also attend exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. One of my all-time favorites was the Pablo Picasso exhibit I attended a few years ago. He is one of my favorite painters and it was an incredible experience seeing some of his most famous works in person.
There are many instances in my life that changed me, the one that changed me for better was when I moved to Greece for two years. It was the first time I had left Ukraine to travel and see the world outside and I would advise students of Humber to travel.
Travelling to Greece completely changed my outlook and understanding. It made me more confident and (surer) of myself and opened my eyes to my own potential and ability. If it wasn’t for those two years, I don’t know whether I would have been as open to coming to Canada.