$____ Budget, Million Dollar Idea

Hello everybody! I’m an 11th grader at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. Illuminate had provided me and my friends with the pleasure and opportunity of attending their National High School Leadership Conference with over 170 students globally. Here is my blog to highlight what I learned about leadership and finance!


I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? —Benjamin Disraeli


As somebody who has just a slight idea for a future career, Oris’s story of her career changes was quite motivating. It was reassuring to know that she found success in becoming CPA designated without it as a clear goal; it shows opportunities can open up throughout life and I don’t have to have a 20-year plan to detail my success.

During the CPA workshop, I learned about Alina’s experience in creating Illuminate and the global growth of it. Alina talked about one of her catalysts for success, and how she used a previous failure as a way of standing out from other candidates. From this experience, I’ll reflect on ways to be authentic and leverage it to achieve my goals and visions.

During Concentra’s finance workshop, I learned about the time value of money, along with asset classes and the merits of analyzing the risk and returns for each option. This topic made me realize the number of options and clarified financial concepts to me, which is, as I learned from the workshop, better to know now than later.

Carmen Wade's lesson on leadership was inspiring, especially how she described leadership, and how leaders should be aware of biases and reach out with empathy. Plus, she talked about asking for help, something I’ve often struggled with, in a way that was encouraging and enlightening.

I consider myself a leader who takes initiative and completes tasks. This would be especially helpful when selling a service for $5, as I’d have to rely on myself to work hard and innovate.

I’m looking forward to next year’s NHLC and applying my newfound knowledge of leadership and collaboration to all aspects of life. And if I could share one piece of advice, I’d say that to succeed, we have to take the initiative to reach out and ask for help.




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