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GTA firefighter helps youth find purpose in life through the Inner Fire Academy

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WATCH ABOVE: The loss GTA firefighter Michael Sehl has seen through his profession drives him to want to see others succeed. Sehl started the Inner Fire Academy with the goal of teaching students how to be resilient in life. Susan Hay has the story – Feb 12, 2020

Michael Sehl has been a firefighter for nearly eight years, while also being an instructor at Humber College for the Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training program.

The loss and tragedy Sehl has seen in his profession drives him daily to want to see others succeed.

“As a firefighter, some of the tools I’ve been given are in the experience of the calls I’ve been to and the peer support training,” recalled Sehl, Founder of The Inner Fire Academy.

“A lot of the peer support tools are also what I want to share with others trying to get into similar professions.”

That being said, three years ago Sehl started a passion project teaching students from Grade 8 through post-secondary school resiliency, both personally and professionally.

READ MORE: Humber College health sciences students take their reading week to help children in Guatemala

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“The Inner Fire Academy is an organization built around empowering young adults to find their own sense of possibility, direction and gratitude,” he explained.

Students representing Humber’s Health Sciences and Wellness programs are learning to transition from I CAN’T to I CAN through stories and group activities.

“I am a third year nursing student here at Humber College, and I felt that I needed to get some information on how to deal with loss or things that are going to occur in my nursing career,” said Catherine Quigley.

“I was hesitant to participate in one of the activities around direction being as important as sight. I said ‘I can’t’ before the activity started and I was actually able to complete it which was really eye opening for me,” she continued.

When asked if this has been a healing project, Sehl replied, “It has become a coping mechanism for me.

“With subway accidents and the Yonge Street van attack, I felt surrounded by loss,” he said “I thought there are two ways I could look at this, look at the loss or look at the acts of kindness that people did that day.

“These are the things I want to spread, these invisible tools, the good things to focus on and spread that message to others.”

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