What is your dream job after you graduate high school?
I hope to study psychology and liberal arts in university. I would love to be in the social work field when I graduate—preferably mental health counselling. I am passionate about music, art and massage, and I want to learn about how they can help others therapeutically.
Tell us about your biggest accomplishment to date!
Being invited to a live interview on a local television show, “Island View,” as part of the National Speaking Rights team [which supports youth changemakers in conversations and community projects related to equality, inclusion and diversity]. We spoke about our service project—which was a video we made aiming to debunk negative stereotypes around youth. Labelling a whole generation as “entitled, lazy, and self-centered” is destructive and discriminatory. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference in the world.
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)?
Moving to Canada at age 14 [from Shenzhen, China]—I was trying to figure out my identity while having to fit into a different culture. I had bad anxiety and I did not know how to cope with it. Overcoming it was gradual and definitely not linear, but I found fulfillment and confidence in helping others and bettering myself through community service.
When you’re feeling low about school or something else, what’s the one thing you always do/watch/read/listen to bring yourself back up again?
I love talking to someone about it—whether it’s a close friend, family member, or a counsellor. This helps me reevaluate my thoughts and makes the challenge seems less overwhelming.
Who is your favourite person to follow on social media? What do you love about them?
I follow Humans of New York on Facebook, which posts portraits and stories of everyday people on New York City streets—including newly-settled refugees and veterans.
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?
Yes I do. I firmly believe that people should be paid based on their work ethic, qualifications and job performance. It is unprofessional and discriminatory to treat employees unfairly because of their gender, race, age or religion.
What’s the number one biggest issue facing young women your age in Canada right now? How can this be fixed/eliminated?
Women are more likely to be victims of violence and harassment—often in cyber form, too, which can severely damage physical and mental health. This can be eliminated by educating both men and women on abusive relationships and consent. School systems should play a bigger role in educating students and protecting them from sexual harassment.
What’s your best piece of advice for other young women who want to make a difference in the world?
Surround yourself with people who believe in your potential and have the same common goal of bettering themselves and the community.