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Illuminate x Markham - An Opportunity I'll Never Forget!

Greetings everyone! My name is Nuha Zawahir and I am a Grade 9 student at Markham District High School. Today, I was provided with an amazing opportunity to attend Illuminate x Markham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned when I listened to the informative talks!

Speaker #1: Alina Huang

When listening to Alina’s talk, I learned a lot about the idea of taking risks. She especially went into detail about the importance of thinking towards the future and she informed us about how it is okay to take a different path along the way! As well, she went into the story of her journey on taking on social entrepreneurship which has really inspired me to put myself out there and make a difference! From being informed about the importance of social entrepreneurship, I was able to learn more about how to use the Theory of Change when planning business ventures and societal changes.

Speaker #2: Christal Wang

When listening to Christal’s talk, I learned more about the importance of pursuing what’s important to me and pursuing things out of my comfort zone. She not only covered the benefits of giving back to our community but also provided a thorough guide on different ways to make changes, for now, that will reflect for future generations. She taught me to try new things, to take risks, to know my values, to continue to learn and, most importantly, to give more than I take!

Speaker #3: Mash Chowdhury

When listening to Mash’s talk, I learned more about his career in cybersecurity and the importance of being able to provide protection to customers. He went into detail about the different roles and responsibilities as well. For example, he explained that there are two types of incident responses that he helps out in. The first, a proactive response. This includes preparing companies when threats arise. The second, a reactive response. Basically putting out the fires. Mash not only taught me about what he does but also the importance of it and the potential importance of it in the future.

What did you most enjoy about Illuminate x Markham’s conference?

What I enjoyed most about Illuminate x Markham’s conference is the community. Though it was online, I was still able to connect with others and surround myself with a supportive community of students who are interested in finding creative solutions to improve our current society!

An Example of Things I Learned:

One of the most interesting things I learned was the importance of using the Theory of Change to plan how to achieve my goals, whether personal or professional. The activity we did was really cool and I hope to use this type of diagram to plan out future ventures!

As well, I was also provided with some really great advice from Chris! She taught me, mainly, to take risks, to always be learning, to not take myself too seriously, to give more than I take and most importantly, to have fun!

How will you apply your learning in your future career goals and/or personal development?

One of the things I would like to touch on is the idea of personal development. From listening to all the speakers, I gained a lot of connections that I know will be beneficial for my future. As well, I learned more about the importance of surrounding myself with people that will help me further my career, which I know will definitely be beneficial for my future career goals. Lastly, I learned that there is always room for change. Not only was this conference really fun, but it taught me many skills I can apply to my personal development.

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