Ten Profiles for Fusion’s 10th Year: #9 – Sasha Sears, 2016/2017 Board Chair
Fusion’s 10th year is wrapping up and with it so does Sasha Sears’ time as Chair of the Fusion Halifax Board.
A member of Fusion for five years and a board member for the last three, the end of the year is bittersweet for Sears.
“This last year has been really great. I think we had a great tenth anniversary,” said Sears. “Our team has been more strategic, focusing on quality over quantity, and trying out some new larger events like the Fusion Inclusion Festival. I’m excited to see what comes next for Fusion.”
When Sears joined Fusion she did so to network and connect with other young people. It became a much bigger part of her life after joining the board as the Marketing and Communications Director three years ago. Since then the group has grown and expanded its mission.
“Probably the biggest change has been the shift from just a place to network to a place where you can get really great volunteer experience or professional development experience, and where Fusion is now perceived as the voice of young people in our city,” Sears said.
While the goals of Fusion will always include networking and helping young people get connected in Halifax, Sears sees the expanded role of Fusion as a great accomplishment.
“Young people weren’t a part of the conversation,” she said. “Young people are maybe perceived to not be engaged in civic matters and I think Fusion gave people a platform to be engaged and speak out about things that matter to them in their city.”
Mentioning issues like bike lanes, the Tool Library, and new this year, the Fusion Inclusion Festival, Sears said people are able to join Fusion and work on ideas they think will make Halifax a better community for everyone.
Looking to the future Sears expects Fusion’s core goals will remain around networking and giving people access to volunteer and professional development opportunities they may not get other places.
Fusion is a completely volunteer run not-for-profit. Sears said that means there will always be challenges but she has confidence the volunteer nature of the group won’t stop them from doing great things.
“The type of people who volunteer and who work on the board are stellar. They’re so hard working and dedicated that they work to find solutions to funding or lack of resources,” Sears said. “Our members are resilient and resourceful and find ways to put on some really awesome events.”
Looking to the next ten years Sears thinks there will be challenges as the city grows. Young people will have to deal with growing pains like transit and affordability as Halifax continues to be a centre for growth. But overall Sears said the next ten years look bright.
“I think it’s a really good time to a young person in Halifax. Attitudes around hiring young people and new grads are shifting, and the need for new hires is starting to be there,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of new companies coming to Halifax and looking for talented people, so employment wise I think things are looking good.”