Evana Popovich

2021 International Women's Day Nominee - Evana Popovich

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute. I have always had a passion for school and have enjoyed learning. I have enjoyed volunteering at both a local nursing home and Health Sciences Centre. I also work part-time for the provincial government in the STEP student program. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my three pet dogs. I also enjoy baking treats for my family and friends.

What education have you taken?

I started my post-secondary education at the University of Winnipeg right after I graduated in high school in 2015. I completed a variety of undergrad courses before joining Brandon University in 2018. I am currently in my third year of my Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing with Brandon University at the Winnipeg campus.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of my academic accomplishments, for my degree I have been placed on the Dean’s Honour List and am a member of the President’s Honour Society with BU. I am proud of my community achievements as well. In the past few years, I have successfully given back to a nursing home that provided me with the skills that are helping me succeed in psychiatric nursing. In 2018, I applied for a “Taking it Global Youth in Action” grant, which I used to develop a succulent workshop for residents in a personal care home. I invited a local high school’s garden club to also take part and together each resident was paired with a student and together they planted a succulent. I was pleased with this event as it not only gave back to the community but also fostered connections among generations. Additionally, in response to COVID-19, I organized a poinsettia fundraiser for that same care home this past holiday season. Traditionally, the care homes organize elaborate holiday festivities but due to the virus all those plans had to change drastically. I put out a call on social media and advertised my fundraiser. My goal was $350, I met my goal in less than 24 hours and by the end I raised approximately $750. A local greenhouse delivered the poinsettias and I was able to interact with some of the residents. I was amazed at the response that I received and felt so grateful to be surrounded by such generous people.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have always known that I desired to work in health care and be a ‘helper’ to those in need. As for psychiatric nursing, I applied the same day that I discovered it. I came across the Winnipeg location’s website and after reading the descriptor I thought the program would be exciting and interesting. After my first year I knew that there was no other program better suited for me and I have never looked back!

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life is to always do my best and not be afraid of a challenge. I remind myself that challenges can increase my capabilities and it’s important to at least try something before deciding if I like it or not.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future, I see myself working in a variety of settings including geriatric mental health and continuing to challenge myself with new opportunities. I hope to be fostering and implementing positive change. I also see myself continuing my volunteer work with our senior community once we can resume these activities safely.

What do you #ChooseToChallenge?

I #ChooseToChallenge traditional gender roles

Nominator’s Comments:

Evana is an advocate for seniors in long term care. She has demonstrated leadership throughout her time in the BScPN program and is an excellent clinical care provider. In December 2020, she consulted Bethania personal care home and asked what would help spread cheer to residents that were confined to their rooms due to COVID-19. What resulted was a fundraiser on Facebook to give poinsettias to residents. The initial goal of $350 was met almost immediately. After almost $800 in donations, Evana was able to buy 14 eight-inch poinsettias, 16 6.5-inch poinsettias and three large wreaths. Many of the usual Christmas activities at Bethania were cancelled, and the delivery of the poinsettias brought genuine joy to the residents.

From an article from CTV News:

“It’s difficult for them and it’s difficult for families,” said Nixdorf. “Typically around the Christmas season there’s so much activity involving family and sharing memories.”

Knowing she helped spread a little cheer at the place she once volunteered at is very special to Popovich.

“I really just wanted to give back to a community that gave back to me so much and helped me become who I am today,” she said.