How I Made It

Jenna Reaume, Member of an All-Female Robotics Team

Jenna Reaume is one of six members of the Ontario-based Amazon Warriors all-female robotics team—which advanced to the world championships earlier this year. Here, she tells FLARE how she made it

Jenna Reaume; @Team6875

What grade are you in?

I’m in grade 10 and would eventually like to study engineering.

Tell us about your biggest accomplishment to date!

Being able to represent my robotics team as one of the drivers [of the robot] and winning provincial champions with some of our idol teams.  As a driver, I’m responsible for either deciding where the robot should go during our matches, or controlling our intake arms.

Having this job put me on the game field for all of our matches, and it meant that I was a big part of representing my team. It was very cool to have such a significant role in our accomplishments!

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten in relation to following your dreams?

I’ve been told that some fields are extremely hard to get into or that there aren’t any jobs in the area, so I should look at other options.

What would you say has been the most significant challenge in life you’ve had to face to date? How did you overcome it (or learn to live with it)?.

I was bullied for a summer, and had to watch people who I thought were my friends leave me for the person bullying me. Thankfully, I have support at home and I realized that the people who left weren’t worth keeping.

Who are your three favourite people to follow on social media? What do you love about them?

James Charles is a makeup artist and model, and a leader in his field. I love how he is able to brush off the negativity. I like to follow Lauren Akins, an American philanthropist, because she supports so many amazing causes. And the Dolan Twins, an American comedy duo, are super funny and carefree—I admire how they love to make people smile and are open about issues that they struggle with.

When you enter the workforce in your chosen field, do you expect to be paid equally to male counterparts with similar education and experience? Why or why not?

I believe that just because I’m female doesn’t mean I should be paid less than a male—and I won’t stand to deal with this being an issue. It bothers me when I hear people talk as if men deserve more because I feel women have to work even harder than men just to get the same pay and treatment.

What’s the number one biggest issue facing young women your age in Canada right now? How can this be fixed/eliminated?

Confidence. No one has the confidence to be the first, or the only, or different from the others. This needs to be changed if we want to make real developments in equality, and I aim to be a part of that transformation.

What’s your best piece of advice for other young women who want to make a difference in the world?

I’ve always believed that if there is a will, there is a way—and my biggest piece of advice is to surround yourself with the positivity and role models you need to get yourself to where you aspire to be. It’s worth the struggle and obstacles, because not only will you be achieving your dreams, but you will be helping to pave the way for girls in the future.

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