Ella W. | Alumna, 2020
“As an immigrant, English wasn’t my first language. I didn’t know the Canadian culture and I was shy and hesitant when approaching new people. I joined GEM to improve my communication and interpersonal skills and to explore potential career options.
My mentor was extremely supportive, approachable and compassionate. She is also an immigrant, which made me feel at ease and understood. She helped me discover potential career and university options and improved my professional online presence and my resume and cover letter. Most importantly, she taught me the value of building long-lasting relationships and not to be afraid when asking for help.
The 9 months with GEM were incredibly productive and eye-opening. GEM's inclusive environment prompted me to step outside my comfort zone and created a space where we felt safe and accepted for who we were. The enrichment opportunities gave me the opportunity to practice my speaking skills in front of different groups of people. They aided me through self-discovery and helped answer questions related to who I was as a person, what I valued and what possible career paths I could take.
At the end of the GEM program, I applied and was a recipient for the GEM STEM scholarship. Coming from a low-income immigrant family, financial resources are often difficult to obtain. Neither of my parents know English and receiving the STEM scholarship has given me an opportunity to finance part of my university tuition.
I’ve become a whole new person through GEM. In the future, I want to help others in need by offering mentorship, knowledge and support. I am so thankful for this experience.”