BY: LEANNE BENN
Sometimes with the right love, support, motivation, and people around you, you can find yourself striving and living the life you have always imagined. As a young girl, Kristal Lewis always found it easy to connect and interact with people, maybe in part thanks to her amazing family around her, with Jamaican and Curacaoan roots, she grew up in the diverse city of Toronto. Even when it was time for her to attend university, Kristal went in with the intention of becoming a social worker and in the end, that’s exactly where she found herself. Kristal graduated from York University with a Bachelors and a Masters in Social Work.
Being able to help people always instilled a sense of joy in Kristal and over the years she found herself caring more and more about the field of geriatrics and health care. So how can you combine the two? She found a way and at first, the concept worried her, it was unique, the idea to combine social work with senior health care. By the time Kristal was in her late twenties, in 2014 she launched her own business called Senior Care Connect Inc. Senior Care Connect is all about bringing awareness to aging and health care. Often times youth don’t bother to even think about aging, care for the elderly, or even think of how this will affect their parents and families over time.
Senior Care Connect is all about helping families go through that transition process of caring for a loved one that is aging. Kristal was able to tie in her love for social work with the business initiative for elderly care and social connection. As she recounted, “I offer a way to help these families outside of what the health care system offers.”
Kristal cares a lot about the people she surrounds herself with and believes this gives a positive reflection of who you are. When York University, her old alma mater, started up a business accelerator program entitled Launch YU, she was encouraged by a friend to propose her business model and apply. Everything happened so quickly and it was an intense application, where ninety businesses applied, forty were selected for interviews and twenty were accepted.
Senior Care Connect and their CEO, Kristal Lewis was one of them. The program is a rigorous training program that aims to help businesses make an impact. The program grooms you, provides mentorship and encourages your business to grow, which is exactly what Kristal needed to take her business to the next level. Who is your target audience? What are you trying to achieve? With questions like these, she is able to go out and find her target audience to address their problems and perfect her business model to present to future investors. Kristal believes this program has helped her to surround herself with like-minded people who are willing to make a positive impact in society and not just in areas of health care but other areas that can be beneficial and healthy to society.
Sometimes you have an idea of what you want to achieve in your head and you just don’t know how to get it to fruition. It’s terrifying but it is worth the risk, being passionate about something is a good start. For Kristal, she is extremely passionate about going out into her community and giving back to, community centers, churches, other organizations, and providing workshops helping them to grow with her support. She views her clients as community members, as people who can all help each other advance in society. As senior health care is an important topic, Kristal wants to ensure that others around her have the proper training to provide the proper health care needed.
“I was always a go to school, get good grades, get a good job, straight and narrow, this is the process you take and I never had a huge risk tolerance so it was interesting that I broke the mold.”
One of the major motivators still comes from her family and especially her parents, whom Kristal describes as investing so deeply in her future that everything she does now is a return on their investment with hopes of making them proud and to give them the life they want. Kristal hopes to help other young entrepreneurs do the same and to find that passion within that can break the mold and with the right community support anything is achievable.
Kristal continues to make her community proud and she is also the newly selected advisor to the President and CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital, Joanne Marr. In terms of her future endeavors, Kristal already has a ten-year plan in mind: to grow, to connect, and to partake. If there is something that you really want to accomplish, just do it and always have the perspective of ‘I win’ regardless. For more information on Senior Care Connect Inc and to learn more about Kristal, visit, seniorcareconnect.ca or on Facebook @SrCareConnectGTA.