Enjoy this short video on Mariya Lovishchuk’s sabbatical experience. (Video by Jensen Hall Creative)

Mariya Lovishchuk, executive director of the Glory Hall shelter program in Juneau, Alaska, says she had been going at full speed for years before receiving time off through a sabbatical award in 2022.

The organization opened Forget-Me-Not Manor with 64 units of permanent supportive housing. She led an effort to build a new Glory Hall for those experiencing homelessness and in need of food, shelter, compassion and support. The COVID-19 pandemic added its own challenges. She had a baby.

“It was kind of a lot, and I just needed a break. I decided to look more into the Rasmuson sabbatical program,” Lovishchuk says.

The award in 2022 provided the relief she needed, she said.

The family enjoyed one another on vacations during her 2022 sabbatical. (Photo courtesy of Mariya Lovishchuk)

The entire workplace improved, she said. “People are just happier.”

“I got spend a lot of time with my family. I went to New Zealand. I got to hike a lot of mountains. I went kayaking and boating, and I read a lot of books,” she says. “I ate really well and I slept and I did not work. It has been amazing.”

Mariya Lovishchuk worked on her baking skills during her 2022 sabbatical. (Photo courtesy of Mariya Lovishchuk)

She recommends anyone considering an application to “just sign up.”

“It’s going to be probably one of the best things you get to do with your life and just do it right away. It’s just such a gift.”

Mariya Lovishchuk grew vegetables and enjoyed good eating during her 2022 sabbatical. (Photo courtesy of Mariya Lovishchuk)