I embarked on my journey with our family business when I was just eighteen, balancing responsibilities here and at my part-time job at Dairy Queen. Customers frequently asked about my accent and origin. Even though the simple answer was ‘I’m from Saskatoon,’ it often triggered puzzled looks and subsequent questions.
My challenge wasn’t geographical. The real task was explaining this without causing discomfort to the questioner or becoming self-conscious. I had been diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech at two. From a young age, the struggle to articulate speech sounds was real, often leading to others guessing my words. The challenges of being understood and the teasing of other kids were disheartening.
A speech pathologist guided my development until I was twelve, teaching me how to use my tongue, jaw, and lips for more effective English expression. After years of speech therapy, misunderstandings of my words became infrequent. However, comprehension of my words didn’t always lead to understanding my story. The effort to form the words I wanted to express sometimes resulted in feelings of isolation, frustration, and doubt about my ability to communicate.
As I grew, I learned valuable lessons about compassion and empathy. To truly connect, I realized that one must first strive to understand others, which meant sharing my story vulnerably with those who showed genuine care. This understanding ushered in new chapters in my life, characterized by deeper relationships, commitment to faith, and ongoing personal development.
Today, my journey intertwines with professional growth and invaluable life lessons. By opening myself up and forging meaningful connections, I empathize with our clients, many navigating stressful situations. As they share their stories and goals, I strive earnestly to understand, providing compassion and support to our clients in all our interactions – on the phone, in person, or through emails. As a paralegal, I work diligently in document preparation, planning, and organization, ensuring excellent service for our clients.
With a sense of hope and anticipation for the future, I am grateful for each unfolding chapter in my story and those brave enough to share their own. A client once shared her child’s struggle with speech development and how our connection instilled hope, a sentiment that profoundly moved me.
At Panko, we believe in the power of relationships. We recognize that everyone has a unique journey and are committed to being part of yours. We strive for excellence in our services because your success matters to us. Our mission is to empower you in your current chapter and those to come. We are here to listen, understand, and help you forge your path. When you engage with any team member, expect genuine attentiveness and understanding.