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Meet our summer intern, Amelia Cook. She’s been gathering testimonials, and the results are inspiring.

Amelia has been keenly conducting interviews with past participants of our Learning to Lead™ program for grade 11 girls.  

One such testimonial came from Sanya Ranchal, a recent graduate of UBC in Immunology and Microbiology.  She hopes to pursue gynecology, obstetrics and women’s rights – largely because of her experience with Minerva.

What she shared with Amelia:

“Before Learning to Lead™ I had a strong feeling about women’s rights, but I did not feel like I had the tools or skills to make an impact. Having moved from India to Vancouver only a year before I participated in the program, I was confined by the cultural archetype of women.  Overcoming that standard of a women’s place in society was a huge barrier removed by Minerva. The confidence I gained through Learning to Lead™ empowered me to follow my passions, and engage in the community in ways I would not have otherwise.

I applied to Learning to Lead™ because I wanted to connect with other women who have experience confronting barriers in the workplace, and in society at large. Through connecting with the other girls and participating in the workshops, I was empowered to have the confidence to pursue something I really cared about – working with women in disadvantaged communities.  Learning to Lead™ inspired me to believe I am capable of following my passion and making a difference.

Since Learning to Lead I have volunteered with Canadian Cancer Society to bring breast cancer screening to populations that lack easily accessible health care, the TREK program at UBC which facilitates students in socio-economically disadvantaged communities to put on a science, and at the Dixon Transition house to that helps women escaping from violence.

Before Learning to Lead™ I would have been scared to work with women from disadvantaged communities, but hearing the experiences of other women pursue their dreams gave me the confidence to get involved.

If I could give my grade 11 self advice it would be what I learnt at Learning to Lead™ – you have the skills and ability to follow your passion, so be more confident, and pursue your dreams.”

We look forward to sharing more of these testimonials with you over the coming year. Learning to Lead™ is offered entirely tuition-free, thanks to our generous donors.

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