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The best life lessons I've ever received

Hi everyone! My name is Daniel. Abraham and I am a Grade 10 student at Pickering Highschool, Ajax. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Durham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about the impact of young people in society today. What I learned from keynote speaker Ilona Dougherty is to always ask questions and always be curious. She taught me that change is always a good thing and adults are often too scared to make change, our job as the next generation is to implement change and make an impact in our community by asking questions . One thing she said that will always stick with me is “If an adult is dodging you or doesn’t want to listen to your ideas, it just means they are very scared of change”.

What I learned from Dr. Cicile Fraydon from Mcmaster University is that Stereotypes are the worst thing in society, stereotypes are made unconsciously and oftentimes are made based on what we have heard or even seen. Internalized stereotypes about ourselves can also lead to lower performances because of our own self doubt. We are meant to be role models and that does not mean that we can only cater to our own race or gender.

What I learned from Mackenzie Clark from google, is that that imposter syndrome is the worst thing aswell and that self doubt can also lead to us as people doubting ourselves and thinking that we are never enough or not capable to do what we want to do, we should always strive to be our best person but we must also believe in ourselves and never let self doubt hurt us.

What I enjoyed the most from this year’s conference was the work shop by Mackenzie Clark from google because she showed us the major damaging effects of imposter syndrome and how this can have very bad effects on our mental health, this really helps me because I often doubt who I am and who I can and want to be in this world and her workshop really helped me to realize that I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it and as long as I believe in myself.

I think that these lessons will help me in my everyday life when trying to make decisions and when I feel like I am nothing I can look back to these words and remember that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.


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