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Illuminate x Markham - An amazing experience

Hi everyone! My name is Mika Vohl and I am a Grade 10 student at Stouffville District Secondary School. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Markham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about business, life, and social entrepreneurship.


Social entrepreneurship was the main focus of this event. I have learned and seen many examples throughout the day of start-ups and businesses which are not only successful but also greatly benefit the community and the people. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and was quite relieved that I can be a successful entrepreneur without harming and rather helping others.


Another happy discovery I made is regarding post-secondary. I was reassured that it is not the worst thing to change your course of study while in the middle of it. It is better to do something you enjoy and are interested in than to spend a large chunk of your time doing something you don’t enjoy.


The keynote speaker Mash Chowdhury was a great inspiration. He helped me realize that a degree can do lots, but you will get the furthest with a real passion and important values. While listening to Mash, I also realized how important public speaking is. With the expression in his voice and hand movements, I was definitely captivated and interested in his presentation.

Another speaker, Alina Huang, the founder and CEO definitely inspired me with her story. The way that she did so many different things ranging from Ivey Business School to Classical Studies to Management Consultant at Deloitte to Founder and CEO of Illuminate Universe inspired me that I do not have to stick to one thing and be content with it.

I am very grateful to have attended Illuminate x Markham and it ended up being a great way to learn more and try things I’ve never done before.