She started at the bottom but now she’s at the top

I love my life. I’m at that sweet spot where I’ve achieved enough that I’m able to appreciate all that I experience every day. I feel blessed to work at Albany International with great colleagues and a wonderful team doing work that I find meaningful. My ongoing efforts are aimed at being an advocate for our employees and creating a culture where diversity, inclusion, and equity is a focus so that all employees can unleash their fullest potential.

I grew up in Quebec, Canada. My mother died in a car accident when I was two years old, leaving my father with three children he wasn’t able to care for, so we were put into the foster care system. I lived in a home with my foster mother and her biological daughter, plus many other children who were in and out over the years. For a while, my brother lived with us but ultimately we ended up separated. There was very little money, no luxuries, and the bullies at school made sure I knew I was different. I was told repeatedly both by other children and even some adults that I wasn’t good enough and that I would never be successful.

I chose not to believe them.

I was determined that I wouldn’t be trapped in poverty and forced to the sidelines of life. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to grow up to be, but I knew I wanted to move away from the circumstances I found so difficult. I was lucky enough to have some influential teachers who instilled the value of education in me so I knew that getting to college was going to be the key to my escape. In the meantime, I released the stress and frustration I was feeling by joining in sports like handball, ice hockey, and badminton. I’ve been a runner since I was 13 years old.

When I graduated from high school, the best option for me was joining the Canadian military reserve to pay for college. I rode the bus to my college classes, which took an hour and a half each way. I let nothing stop me. When new obstacles arose, I adapted.

It took me a long time to reach my goals, and I had a lot of them. I wish there hadn’t been so many obstacles and I’d like my legacy to be that I helped remove obstacles to make it easier for those coming behind me to fulfill their potential. Despite whatever obstacles are in your way, the key to your success lies in your focus, your resilience, and the relentless pursuit of your goals. You can do it too!