Samantha Hoskin shares how she strives for better

First National Financial LP Jan 30, 2024   mins
  • International Women's Day

Samantha Hoskin, Funder, Toronto, shares how she’s realizing her dreams despite growing up in challenging circumstances, why she values resilience and what #EmbraceEquity means to her.

In honour of International Women’s Day, we are profiling several inspiring women on our team. These women lead by how they live in the world, how they share their wisdom through their actions and integrity and how they show up every day. Samantha Hoskin, Funder, Toronto, shares how she’s realizing her dreams despite growing up in challenging circumstances, why she values resilience and what #EmbraceEquity means to her.

Q: Tell us your story in your own words.

SH: I was born with cerebral palsy and grew up in a big family with four siblings. My mother raised us, and we struggled. It was a really challenging environment. When I was 16, I decided to leave home and never come back. At first, I lived in a shelter. Then I lived with an older woman while I finished high school. When I wanted to go to college, I faced challenges getting student loans because I was emancipated and not a crown ward. I figured out a way and finished the Law Clerk Program at Durham College. I worked for a law firm for a while, which wasn’t the right fit for me. But it ended up being my introduction to First National. My interactions with the people at First National were so positive, and I knew it was where I wanted to be. I joined First National in 2016, starting in customer service. I then moved to legal documentation before taking on my current role as Funder. 

Q: Why does the word resilience resonate with you to exemplify how you live in the world?

SH: I never get anything I want on the first try. But I keep trying until I get it. Even with this job, I sent out so many applications to so many different companies before landing this role. I’ve always had a strong belief I was meant for better. I’ve always had supportive, loving people around me who helped me and believed in me too. So many people are curious about my experience living with CP. It doesn’t define me or shape my identity. I remember bringing my daughter home and not really knowing how I was going to get around the house. But I figured out. She’s two now and thriving. I was just facing another obstacle in my life I had to find a way to overcome.

Q: From your life experiences, what wisdom do you want to share with other women?

SH: Life can get hard. It’s important to look inward to find the strength you need to keep on going. Growing up, I was always told I would never go to college or realize my dreams. But I always wanted more and never gave up. Many people will hear my story and think it was traumatic. But for me, leaving home at 16 and living in a shelter was the first time I felt safe. When I became a mom, I had so many feelings. The experience has been triggering at times but also healing. My daughter has the freedom to play. I can buy her the toys I never had. She has a beautiful, loving home. And I am really proud of that. 

Q: As a woman, what is it like to work at First National and what inspires you?

SH: There are so many incredible women on my team, and we all lift each other up. It is always a safe space to vent about work or life. And there are so many inspiring female leaders including Connie, Linda and Wendy. My goal is to be an Underwriter. I have more to learn but I know I can realize that dream at First National.

Q: #EmbraceEquity is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023? What does that mean to you?

SH: #EmbraceEquity means overcoming obstacles while also being given equal opportunity and the tools to succeed. I know from much of my life experience that equity and equality are not the same. I have been so grateful to have met mentors (both in my personal and work lives) who have embraced equity, which allowed me to improve my life and my mindset. Being able to #EmbraceEquity has also allowed me push ahead in my life despite my personal challenges, life experiences and to some, shortcomings. I am so grateful to be able to take part in this campaign. I hope my story will inspire, uplift and encourage others lend a hand to others when they see it is needed. Whether you see someone struggling on your team at work or out in your daily life, it is important to remember that there is always more to the circumstances than we may see from our own perspective.

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