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Illuminate x Durham regional conference

Hi everyone! My name is Ioana Mihaela Ciomag and I am a Grade 10 student at Pine Ridge Secondary School. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Durham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about today.

At today’s conference, I had the opportunity to listen and learn from two keynote speakers, Ilona Dougherty and Andrea Gunraj. Ilona has talked about how young people have so much to offer and that some traits and abilities are only owned when you are young. She also mentioned the importance of taking action as a youth and not only staying back and listening. Youths should be valued and listened to more because we are the ones that are driving this generation to succeed. Andrea has talked about equality in races and genders in all people. She explained the importance of how women can help empower maybe more than men do. Both keynote speakers were amazing and taught me valuable lessons!

Also, at today’s conference, we had another amazing opportunity to listen to Dr. Cecile Fradin and Mackenzie Clark. Dr. Cecile Fradin talked us through her experience being a woman in STEM and how she is doing the job she loves. She also mentioned how women are less expected to become doctors, lawyers or engineers in comparison to men. Dr. Cecile Fradin also walked us through an amazing science lesson and showed us what she researches. I also had the pleasure to listen to Mackenzie Clark, who works in software engineering for Google. She taught us about Imposter Syndrome and multiple ways to overcome it. We did some short activities together and she also talked about her experience in STEM. Both workshops were very helpful and I was left with so much important information that would definitely help me in the future.


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