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#InspiredByCAGIS: Meet Diya, an inspiring CAGIS Teen Ambassador

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Meet Diya, a long-time member and inspiring CAGIS Teen Ambassador!

Diya joined her local CAGIS Chapter when she was 9 years old. As a teenager, she was accepted into CAGIS’ Teen Ambassador program, for Canadian female, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming youth with an interest in STEM. Earlier this year, Diya attended the Girls STEM Up Conference and was awarded the Maude Abbot Bursary which recognizes the outstanding contributions of a female high school student to empowering women in STEM. We interviewed Diya to hear all about her passion for STEM, the Maude Abbot Bursary, and her plans for the future. Congratulations on your accomplishments, Diya!

When did you first realize that you had an interest in STEM?

My interest in STEM developed from my curiosity at a young age and the questions I had about the world around me. Between my constant questions about and my interest in STEM-related toys (my favourites being my microscope, chemistry set, and telescope) it was clear that I loved to learn! STEM allowed me to explore my curiosity about the world.

When did you first join CAGIS and why?

I joined CAGIS in 2016 when I was 9 years old. I learned about CAGIS through an outreach event where we got to conduct cool experiments! I was interested in joining to explore my interests in STEM while being surrounded by like-minded girls. Later, in 2020, I joined CAGIS’ Teen Ambassador program where I got to be a role model within the organization for young girls!

What is one of your favourite CAGIS memories or experiences?

I have many fun memories with CAGIS. My favourite has to be when we got to learn about glowing mice! Their DNA contained a gene found in bioluminescent jellyfish, which caused them to glow under blue light. This was one of the first times I learned about DNA and it helped me explore my interest in biology.

Tell us about the bursary you received.

I received the Maude Abbott Bursary in March 2022. It is an award for a female-identifying high school student which recognizes her contributions and passion for empowering women in STEM. It was awarded by the Girls STEM Up: Empower Conference 2022.

What area of STEM most interests you?

There are lots of areas of STEM that interest me, it is hard to choose just one! Recently, I have been exploring the fields of Engineering, Biology and Aviation.

What advice do you have for other youth who are interested in pursuing their studies in a STEM field?

My advice would be to go for it! Do not be afraid to take risks or opportunities when following your interests. Also, just try it out… you don’t know where your curiosity may lead you!

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