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My Thoughts on Illuminate x Durham

Hi everyone! My name is Salma Oraby and I am a Grade 11 IB student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI. I had the pleasure of participating in Illuminate x Durham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned.

Throughout the conference, multiple speakers gave really inspiring presentations. They talked about their experiences and obstacles throughout post- secondary and throughout their careers as well. It was truly inspiring to see such empowering women sharing their experiences with the participants. They spoke a lot about their ability to overcome the doubt that is infused in us women due to the stereotypical attitude of society.

The most enjoyable part of the conference for me were the speaker notes. Dr. Pr. Fradin's workshop covered different aspects of the scientific field. She spoke about her many different projects and how her students participated in the making of them. She also spoke about her journey to McMaster and her experience through post-secondary. I specifically enjoyed this part because it cleared a lot of my doubts about universities and it made me a little more confident.

The last workshop was presented by Mackenzie Clark. She brought our attention to the concept of Imposter syndrome. This was a very eye opening portion of the conference for a lot of the participants. She also covered the different techniques one could use to overcome this attitude. I am certain I will be using her advice from here on out.

This whole experience, from the preparation all week to the conference itself was very insightful. The organizers and the team truly gave off the most welcoming and friendly vibe. It was a great opportunity presented by a lot of wonderful mentors.

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