The University of Waterloo has awarded six first-year students with HeForShe IMPACT scholarships in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The scholarships are part of the University of Waterloo’s commitment to encourage more young minds to pursue careers in STEM, an area where those who identify as women or non-binary groups are currently underrepresented.
Waterloo is the only Canadian university taking part in the UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative to achieve gender parity. As part of this initiative, the University aims to increase representation for female or those who identify as female and non-binary in STEM education and careers, faculty representation, and senior university positions.
Each recipient has a unique story that’s fueled their interest in STEM. Here's a look at how Computer Engineering student, Isemi Ekundayo, is pursuing her passion.
Ekundayo remembers her first experience with STEM, particularly engineering, in third grade. “A professional engineer visited my school to give a presentation about the different engineering disciplines available, and their potential career paths,” says Ekundayo. “I thought it was awesome that a field existed that would easily allow me to apply my knowledge from classes on real-world projects.”
Ekundayo hopes to put her degree in Computer Engineering to bettering and changing the world, and looks forward to working with other professionals in the field.
“Being able to surround myself with [passionate and motivated individuals] will allow me to significantly grow as a person,” says Ekundayo. “I am excited to immerse myself in the world of STEM and encounter an abundance of innovative thinkers.”
As a female pursuing Computer Engineering, Ekundayo hopes her story will also resonate with others interested in education or careers in STEM.
“There are those that will try to relate your success to being a minority in the field, but don’t let that take away from any of your accomplishments,” says Ekundayo. “The more women that succeed in a STEM field, the easier it is for other women to feel like they have the ability to make an impact in STEM.”
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