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Highlights of the Illuminate x Durham Conference

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Hi everyone! My name is Starr Zhu and I am a Grade 11 student at R.H. King Academy. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Durham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about Women in STEM.

Throughout this conference, we were able to dive deeper into the careers of many great women in the STEM field.

Keynote speaker Ilona Dougherty taught us that age does not define us and place a restriction on what we can and cannot do, and that as kids, we should not always blindly follow our older peers, but question them instead. In turn, Andrea Gunraj taught us that empowering oneself intersects with empowering others.

The most enjoyable parts of the conference were the workshops presented by Dr. Pr. Fradin and Mackenzie Clark. Dr. Pr. Fradin's workshop stood out as she presented information from the science field and her time at McMaster University, while also providing insight on her personal experience on getting to where she is today. Mackenzie Clark brought our attention to the imposter syndrome, what it is, how to recognize it and how it is more common than we initially perceived. The self reflection in this workshop specifically gave me the biggest takeaway for the future and is something that I will carry with me for the next steps of my career.

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