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What it means to “be good at something” and The Illuminate x North York Regional Conference

Hello! My name is Reanna Toivis and I am a Grade 10 student at Alexander Mackenzie High School. Today, I had the pleasure to attend the Illuminate x North York Regional Conference. In a team of 5 (see photo below) I worked with my fellow peers - Mehka Gnanendran, Esther Han, Bridgette Wang, Telma Jorjani to present a solution to The Ministry of Education on how to inspire lifelong learning in today’s high school students. In the present education system, students have prioritized memorization over understanding or interest in material. This not only leads to burn out but lack of interest or knowledge in what one will truly be successful in.


Are we good at something because we have been told so or do past experiences serve as evidence?

Along with this case study, the conference gave me the opportunity to hear from guest speakers Dan Kiernan and Swish Goswami -- the entrepreneurs gave insightful advice on what success really means and how there is not one right path to prosperity. Kiernan’s presentation gave me the opportunity to reflect on what it means to “be good at something”. Are we good at something because we have been told so or do past experiences serve as evidence? As well, what can we learn from our past mistakes and triumphs and what do they tell us about ourselves? I consider myself “good at business” and interested in the subject. I know this as I would much rather create a spreadsheet in accounting over memorizing the parts of the cell in science. I also love watching videos about branding and following influencers who I look up to. This data tells me that I would enjoy a career in business. By analyzing our past experiences we can better find our passions that will help us pave the path of success. As well, Goswami brought up the interesting point that people love to talk about themselves, and I could not consider this more true. He mentioned that if you ever want to get to know a person in the industry ask to interview them. Not only is it a great source of flattery but also gives you the opportunity to ask all your nosy questions!


 

On the whole, it was a great afternoon and my team and I did end up placing 2nd winning $200! It was enlightening to meet so many new teens on zoom and I look forward to attending next year!