Youngstown State University graduates Michael Senchak, Mike Senchak and Dave Stewart share a common passion — helping others. With this passion in mind, they opened FirstLight HomeCare of The Valley.
Their company has been operational since September 1 and provides in-home, non-medical assistance for area residents who want to remain independent. While the company primarily provides services for the disabled and the elderly, support is also available for new mothers.
All three owners said that their experiences at YSU helped them establish important business skills.
Michael Senchak graduated last December with a degree in business administration and received the senior leadership award for management. He said his business classes provided helpful hands-on work experience.
“In capstone we did a simulation for running a business. It allows you to think of all the elements that impact your business,” he said. “I’m grateful to YSU for the education and the opportunity to provide compassionate care for people in our community who want to stay independent.”
Stewart has earned three degrees from YSU: an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in applied science computer technology and a master’s degree in business administration.
Stewart also serves as an adjunct faculty member and teaches project management during the spring. Michael Senchak is Stewart’s former student.
“YSU’s given us the foundational skills to do this and they gave us the opportunity to introduce us to each other,” Stewart said.
Mike Senchak is Michael Senchak’s father. Mike Senchak earned an associate degree in nursing in 1979 and a master’s in business administration in 1989. He has over 35 years of experience in the healthcare field.
“I was around in 1970 when they were first building Kilcawley. … I’ve been a lifelong resident. I have believed in this area. My work history and my school history reflect that,” Mike Senchak said. “To be able to be helping people and doing it with my son, it is a dream come true for me.”
The company’s goal is to provide quality, compassionate assistance. Michael Senchak, Mike Senchak and Stewart believe they can achieve this goal by working as a team.
“We’ve all been impacted with family members who are aging. They want to stay at home. They want to be independent,” Michael Senchak said. “Our first month in business has been a lot of long hours and pulling together as a team. Fortunately for us, we work extremely well together.”
Stewart agreed and said that their healthy partnership will lead to future successes.
“As far as being a success, we feel that we will be successful. We bring the passion, compassion and the empathy to take care of others,” Stewart said.
FirstLight HomeCare of The Valley has eight employees on staff. By the company’s one-year anniversary, the owners expect to employ the equivalence of 12 full-time workers, who will all go through an elaborate screening process.