20 Under 40: Sarah Gastle
Meet Sarah Gastle, 36, director of business development and communications at Pathways Employment Help Centre, and one of our 20 Under 40 Class of 2023 recipients
LAUNCHING HER FIRST community fundraising campaign while in senior kindergarten, Sarah Gastle is passionate about making London a place for all to thrive. With Pathways Employment Help Centre, she creates, supports, develops and manages innovative job-connection and employment projects that make a significant difference — broadly in our community and directly in the lives of thousands of Londoners. Putting business acumen to work in the non-profit sector, she produces impactful results for the community by leading quietly, effectively and humbly from behind the scenes.
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Who, or what, was your biggest influence?
My grandparents, Jean and Dr. Hugh Gastle, and my parents, Sue and Dr. Tom Gastle, were my biggest influences, and have been to this day. My grandfather was the only medical doctor with a practice in our community for many decades; my father is a large animal veterinarian; and my mother is a social worker. Growing up in a small community, everywhere I went I heard stories of how they had helped someone — my grandfather stopping his car on the way home to save someone’s life; farmers sharing how my father had saved their herd from disease, or as we left a struggling family farm hearing him tell the farmer not to worry about payment for that visit; or someone stopping us on the street to share how my mother had helped a youth in crisis feel understood.
“I’m happiest when reaching towards a new goal. I’m part of some really exciting community projects that I can’t wait to see come to fruition”
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Author John Acuff said, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” Learning is challenging, exciting and a privilege to experience. Remember that when the going gets tough.
What’s left for you to do — professionally or personally?
I’m happiest when reaching towards a new goal. I’m part of some really exciting community projects that I can’t wait to see come to fruition. London is facing several urgent social challenges, which means there is an opportunity to come together as a community, listen to and learn from one another and collaborate to make much-needed change.
An old friend is coming to visit London — where are you taking them out to eat?
First, we’re heading to the Western Fair Market, Covent Garden Market or Grace Bodega to pick up a few things. Then we’re going to a local park or biking along the Thames Valley Parkway to enjoy a picnic. We love taking out-of-town guests to see the beautiful parks and trails that London has to offer. Interview by Kieran Delamont