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Illuminate x Markham - Trust the Journey

Hi everyone! My name is Anoosha Trehan and I’m currently a grade 11 student attending Richmond Hill High School. Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend the Illuminate x Markham’s regional conference. Just thought I’d come on here to highlight my thoughts on what I learned about social entrepreneurship.


The two keynote speakers taught me very valuable lessons, not just about the fields they’re in, but things that would help me move forward in life. Christal Wang highlighted her very interesting journey that eventually led her to create Shimmer, an online community of people like you. She introduced the idea of the theory of change and how working backwards will help you to see what you can do at your own scale to make an impact. Though her presentation was very informative, my main takeaway was that it’s never too late. Life is an interesting journey and everyone’s path is different, but the important thing is to never settle, especially when it comes to your career, because you don’t want to be stuck doing something for the rest of your life that doesn’t make you happy.

Mash Chowdhury spoke about cybersecurity and consulting, but I’m going to be honest that wasn’t what I learned from his talk. He taught me to always stay 3 steps ahead of your competition. That means researching, networking and considering those that are 3 years older than you to be your competition. He said that standing out amongst applicants is key and to do that you need to start thinking 2 years ahead. All this also means not letting opportunities slide pass you just because they seem too “complex.” At the end of the day life is all about perseverance, drive and communication.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Illuminate x Markham conference and, after a long year of school clubs and competitions not being normal, it was nice to be back out there - on zoom of course - thinking on my feet and, connecting with like - minded youth!