Lilit Simonyan – Co-Founder of the Live Your Potential Program
The Live Your Potential (LYP) Women’s Leadership & Career Development Program is a story of a partnership of two like-minded immigrant women who work together to support and empower women to achieve their career aspirations, encourage them to honor their true selves, and live their full potential.
The program was born out of the need Jean and I saw in our communities in Toronto, where often women are dissatisfied or unmotivated at their jobs, underemployed or underpaid. However, bringing positive change in their professional lives – be it regaining a sense of purpose and enthusiasm in their current jobs, seeking new career opportunities, acquiring new skills and qualifications, or climbing up the career ladder – requires time, certain skills, persistence and a supportive community. Numerous programs exist in the Greater Toronto Area that support unemployed professionals, but there seems to be a shortage of comprehensive and compact programs that could support those who are employed, but need certain information, skills or support for job happiness.
In the last several months, the LYP program has proven to be a successful model that has empowered dozens of women to take steps towards building rewarding careers.
“At a time where I was trying to take stock of the year and look ahead, I could have not made a better decision than to take these 2 days of training. I reinforced and explored the knowledge about myself and brought forward the key features of my personality and professional abilities to plan my career with very clear and easy steps to actually make it happen.” – Isabel Perez-Doherty, Fundraising and Partnerships Consultant
“Now empowered with just the right tips and tools from this program, I feel ready and confident to go back to work after my maternity leave and to pursue other personal and professional goals.” – Stephanie S., Media Strategist
“One of my many key learnings from the program is that “practice makes confidence”. I always thought being confident was a privilege for only naturally gifted people. But with the LYP program, I was able to gain confidence by practicing my communication skills, negotiation skills, and influencing power.” – Sujung Christine Lee, Marketing Specialist at MicroSoft, Live Your Potential 2016 Scholarship Winner
“Before attending the Live Your Potential Program I lacked direction, confidence and clarity in my career goals. Lilit and Jean helped me identify my leadership skills, strengths, and then develop a plan to take advantage of those strengths.” – Leticia S., Operations and Logistics Coordinator at Ecobee Inc.
It is so rewarding to see how our trainees increased their confidence, felt more positive about their future, and set a course of action with the belief that they can achieve career aspirations and then, actually do achieve them. Moreover, I feel truly privileged to work with an amazing group of women during each iteration of the LYP Program; women who inspire me with their passion, work ethic, openness and mutual support, and eagerness to make a lasting impact on their communities.
In 2016, Jean and I launched the first Live Your Potential Scholarship, supporting women in their journey towards leadership and professional fulfillment. With support of an anonymous donor, we will soon grant LYP STEM Scholarship to a woman in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math. We will continue to invest socially for the advancement of women from diverse backgrounds for the years to come.
Recognizing the importance of a supportive community, in early 2017 we launched the Live Your Potential Talk Series. The goal is to provide a platform that highlights empowering women leaders from diverse backgrounds, while also shedding light on real issues that affect everyday working women. The first two talk series covered topics of Courageous Choices and Leveraging Introvert Powers for Career Success. The Talk Series is open to both women and men.
“The Talk Series was a phenomenal event for insights and connection. The panelists were professional, knowledgeable, and inspiring as the share their relatable experiences and diverse perspectives. The LYP Program is highly-recommended for professionals seeking development and fulfillment in various areas of their lives.”- An attendee of the LYP Talk Series
Live Your Potential began with two women who shared a mission and passion for women’s empowerment. Now, it has grown into a sisterhood of dozens of women who celebrate their worth, lead with confidence and impact, and also inspire others to do the same. We look forward to empowering more women to live their full potential in 2017 and beyond.
Original article posted on The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation blog.