A Jumping-Off Point



Hi Everyone! My name is Sophia Arellano and I am a Grade 11 student at St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School. Today, I had the pleasure to attend the Illuminate National High School Leadership Conference with over 170 students globally. Here is my blog which strives to highlight what I learned about collaboration, finance and entrepreneurship.


“The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.”

- Warren Buffet


The Goodman School of Business Presentation

  • When searching for good university programs, take into account the options for abroad semesters, Internships and co-ops, International Double Degrees, and minors

  • CPA’s and successful people in the world of business are critical thinkers who embrace their human side and surround themselves with smart people


Workshop #1: CPA Ontario Pitch Workshop

  • When you know what you are aiming and aspiring for, you have to make opportunities for yourself, find opportunities, take advantage of opportunities

  • Another great way to make yourself known: seek out informational interviews

  • Present yourself humbly and honestly


Workshop #2: Concentra Leadership Workshop

  • $1 today is worth more than a $1 in the future because you can actively do stuff with that dollar

  • Compound interest dictates that the best way to grow your money is to start early

  • Good stocks have good future return equity, future prospects, and a value greater than their price

  • One suggestion I received: opening up a practice account to practice investing without committing actual money. This is something I will definitely explore with my bank and my parents!


Entrepreneurship and leadership knows no boundaries.

I like to consider myself an entrepreneur because I love using critical thinking to attack new problems with creative solutions. $5 doesn’t seem like a lot, but from the conference today I’ve learned that you can make this money grow into so much more by starting early. I’d want to start a business that would help other kids my age learn about stocks - a simulation app for kids like me to start early and learn! More than anything, I want to make sure kids of all walks of life get opportunities like these, so I think those $5 would go towards stuff like outreach and promotion.



Closing Blog Content:

One thing I’m passionate about and looking forward to next year is exploring the world of stocks and compound interest. These are incredibly interesting assets to have, and today’s conference really opened my eyes to what can be done with them.

One piece of advice about leadership: Inclusive Leadership is KEY. Actively reach out to anyone and everyone. Take your time getting to better understand those you’re working with. And TRUST! Trust the process and your peers, because great things come out of trust.


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