The Grow Story

I got the idea to create the Grow program through a series of personal experiences that opened up my path to identity achievement and wellness.

My educational background in Human Relations and my struggle with identity and wellness were huge contributors to my development of self-awareness. The core classes of the degree require students to self-reflect and create a sense of awareness in order to have the ability to help others. Having the opportunity to participate in these classes opened my eyes to just how disconnected I was to my own identity and ability to create wellness in my life. After graduating, I experienced difficulties in finding my career path and navigating the healthcare system to find my own balance for well-being.

Looking around at my peers, students, and society, I noticed the high level of stress, anxiety, and other mental and physical issues present. After doing some research, I discovered that “3 million Canadians (11.6%) aged 18 years or older reported that they had a mood and/or anxiety disorder” ; and more youth (aged 15-24) met the criteria for mood and substance abuse disorders than any other age group.

I was further encouraged to start Grow after learning about Theory U, a theory developed by Otto Scharmer. Theory U works on connecting mindfulness to social change with the goal of creating a better future.

Here is an excerpt from the Theory U overview that gave me the insight into the true need for a program like Grow,

“The cause of our collective failure is that we are blind to the deeper dimension of leadership and transformational change. This “blind spot” exists not only in our collective leadership but also in our everyday social interactions. We are blind to the source dimension from which effective leadership and social action come into being.”

After several months of careful contemplation, a friend shared information on a government-subsidized program that supports young entrepreneurs get their project off the ground. I realized this was the missing piece and the “green light” for me to start Grow. Since I made this commitment, the project has been building at a steady rate and things have been falling into place seamlessly. The alignment is beautiful.

It’s funny how the universe works, isn’t it?

Jasmine Mascarenhas, Founder