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Illuminate x Durham Experience

Hi everyone! My name is Emily Xia and I am a Grade 9 student at University of Toronto Schools. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Durham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about women in leadership.

Different keynote speakers covered a wide variety of topics, from finding your own confidence, to education. I learned that I shouldn’t be scared to speak up, and “question authority.” The speeches were very educational, and made me realize that everybody has a different, unique perspective that should be heard. The conference also included education, and work in science, and had really interesting stories, and topics. The last thing that really had an impact on me was how we should acknowledge the need for diversity, and how recognizing it can empower different minorities. All the workshops were informative, interesting, and fun to participate in. I’ve learned a lot from them, and feel as though I'll carry this experience with me far beyond this conference.

I really enjoyed listening to the ideas that each group came up with in our case study competition. Being surrounded by creative people, and having such great presentations really contributed to an energetic environment. I learned a lot from different groups, and thought that everybody did such a great job.

From this conference, I’ve gained a better understanding of leadership, work in STEM, and most importantly, myself. Participating in Illuminate x Durham has helped me realize how I can improve myself, and make an impact.


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