This October Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI BC) welcomed two new people to join our team, Kirsten Sharp and Sandeep Gill.
Here are their mini bios to give you some background of who they are and why they work for SCI BC.
Sandeep Gill, Program Services Coordinator
Sandeep was volunteering at a seniors’ centre in 2010 to get some administrative experience when she realized that she wanted to focus her career in the non-profit sector. It was the passion and motivation of her colleagues, and the realization that they were working to help people, not just to make money, that cemented this decision in her psyche.
Since she graduated in June, 2013 from Langara with a bachelors’ in business administration, Sandeep has continued on this path. She still volunteers at the seniors’ centre, and after finishing contracts with the Kidney Foundation and the Cerebral Palsy Association, she joined Spinal Cord Injury BC in October.
As our new program services coordinator, Sandeep monitors our Peer Support Program, and helps us with event coordination. She would like to move into project management as her career progresses.
Sandeep speaks Punjabi and Hindi and has a huge extended family in California, England and India. She hasn’t visited India since she was five years old, and hopes to rediscover it someday soon. When she’s not working, she’s obsessing over her five-year-old German Shepherd, Arko, cooking incredible meals, and listening to rap and hip hop.
Kirsten Sharp, Lower Mainland Peer Program Coordinator
Kirsten Sharp’s love of psychology, storytelling, and being around people has taken her on a diverse journey.
From the ages of 16 to 24, Kirsten worked at the BC Injury Prevention Centre as a public speaker and part-time manager of media and events. In those eight years, she spoke at more than 300 high schools and elementary schools around the province to talk to students about motivation, goal setting and injury prevention.
After graduating from Simon Fraser University with a degree in business administration and psychology, Kirsten spent two years as part of the communications crew building the Millennium Skytrain Line.
In 2000, Kirsten joined Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI BC) for the first time as one of our peer coordinators, back when we were still known as the BC Paraplegic Association.
She played an integral role in developing some of our most successful reoccurring events, including the Bus Stop Hop and The Women’s Tea.
In 2002, Kirsten left SCI BC to complete the BCIT media and communications diploma in television production. After graduating, she interned for Global TV, and worked as a news editor at CTV.
Kirsten spent the next eight years of her career working for animation and visual effects studios in Vancouver. She produced trailers and cinematics for video games like FIFA, Prototype, TRON, Madden and Thief, and she even worked for Disney.
This October, her love of helping people has brought Kirsten back to SCI BC to work as our new Lower Mainland peer specialist. Kirsten’s favourite part about working for SCI BC is helping others get the support she didn’t have when she was first injured at 14 years old.
“I think I would have really benefited from having a peer group to go out and try new things with when I was first injured. In the past few years, I’ve started getting into sports, and one of the reasons I didn’t earlier is that I didn’t know of all the opportunities that exist,” says Kirsten.
“That’s why organizations like Spinal Cord Injury BC are so important. I’ve seen what a difference it can make for people with recent injuries, to connect them with the opportunities that are out there for them.”
Kirsten has competed in outrigger paddling, and most recently traveled to a few international locations to compete in wheelchair tennis. One of her favourite memories is riding the Peak to Peak Gondola holding the Paralympic torch as more than a hundred people sang our national anthem. She loves swimming, cycling, people and telling stories. She can’t resist a good indie film.