Alumni-Catch: A Profile of Vasily Zadorojnyi
By Jayden J., Leo B., Mau S. and Alvaro S.
Q: What is one of your best memories you have at Northmount?
A: Some of my best memories from Northmount were the camping trips. I think that the whole experience of being with your friends, outdoors, and having adventures together really builds those relationships. I think it really shaped my appreciation for the outdoors, for adventure, and having a bit of a wider scope of life. You recognize the material benefits of things after not having all of them for a while. So, I really enjoyed all of that.
Q: Are you still in touch with friends from your days at Northmount?
A: Yes, we still keep in touch, for sure. We were a really diverse class, as everyone had very different interests, but what united us was that we had a similar experience in growing up. That creates a bond that lasts forever in a sense. Because we shared so many fun moments together, the trip is just one example, you don’t really forget things like that and always stay in touch with those people.
Q: Of everything Northmount has to offer, what helped you the most to get to where you are today?
A: It’s a good question. I think it was the discipline and being in a structured environment where the teachers really cared. I learned the value of hard work and that help is always available so you never really feel like you’re alone in challenging times. In life it’s important to seek help; you don’t have to figure everything out on your own.
Q: What was your favourite sport at Northmount? Why?
A: I found sports later in my life. When I was at Northmount I really liked flag football and went on to play contact football in high school at St. Mike’s. One year, we actually got pretty far in the tournament ranking.
Q: What do you think is one of the best life lessons that Northmount has taught you?
A: The best life lesson Northmount taught me is that you should live your life according to certain values. If you learn about the religious side of Catholic education, you learn about the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments really are a manifestation of what generally are good principles to live by, such as, you want to be honest; you want to live life with integrity; you want to try and mean what you say; if you make a promise to someone, you try and fulfill that promise. That knowledge serves you well in personal relationships, so if you commit to a relationship, you honor that commitment.
Q: What do you do now professionally?
A: I’m a professional accountant. Not the kind who does your taxes, but one who works with a company to help create financial models, help set achievable targets, and ensure the company remains on track. I think it’s a fun job – it has certain aspects that are kind of dry, but I enjoy the people aspect of it. The real benefit of it is that you can work in any industry because you understand money. You can work in a bank, or a company that makes toys. You can work in a company that helps relieve homelessness. So, there’s all kinds of places that you can apply that knowledge to, and that’s the fun part … you can have a really fun career in different industries.
Q: What are your favourite hobbies?
A: I have an absolute favourite hobby and it’s a little bit dangerous, but I like it so much and it’s cycling. That’s a big hobby of mine and I spend about ten hours a week training, either on a stationary bike or riding outside. I enjoy the competition aspect of it, and I participate in some competitions, not professionally, but just for fun. I’ve been cycling for almost 7 years now, and I wish I found it when I was your age  because I would’ve been so much better. When you start young in sports, especially in endurance sports like swimming or biking, you’re able to carry your ability forward to when you use it in your life. It provides me with a lot of stress relief and it really adds a lot of value to my life. I use cycling to spend some time for myself, and I think that’s really helped mentally and spiritually.
Q: Who is a role model that inspired you?
A: I find that I’m more inspired by the actions of people rather than people themselves. Many role models, an athlete for example, may be very talented in one thing, but they may not be so great in other aspects of their life that you don’t see on camera. I’m actually inspired by everyday people. For example, I’m inspired by people who are in Ukraine right now. Civilians and volunteers in the army who are defending their country. I’m inspired by a single mother who is raising two kids on her own and is trying to build her career. I think there’s so much inspiration in the everyday world and common people, you just have to step back and look at it.
Q: If you could make one change to Northmount, what would it be?
A: If I could make one change to Northmount I would make it more accessible to others. I think you guys [Northmount students] are very lucky to be where you are. With the lessons and opportunities, you guys can be whatever you want in life. You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. You’re set up with all the gifts and all the support that you need. I wish that more people had these opportunities because it’s quite a small school and you can get there easily if you can afford it, but I just wish even more people had those opportunities.
Q: Why do you want to return to Northmount? What will your role be at Northmount?
A: I was recently invited to join the Board of Governors and I would like to dive further into what my role will be there. What I really hope to share is my educational and work experience with fellow alumni to help them transition from Northmount to high school and into the working world. I would like to get involved in alumni relations, and hopefully as part of my role on the Board of Governors I can bring alumni back to the school. Ultimately, I think conversations like these can be my most relevant contributions to Northmount.