I’ve been a part of Engineering Brightness since grade 10. I am currently a first year university student. I’m here today to talk to you, the Atlantic Summit of Liberal Federal Ministers, Premiers from all four provinces and MLAs, about my experience with Engineering Brightness, the skills I developed and how it changed the trajectory of my life.
I learned a lot during my time with Engineering Brightness including: CAD work, soldering, the dynamics of electricity, technical writing for presentation proposals and even empathy.
For me, The biggest thing that came from Engineering Brightness was confidence and public speaking. What a lot of people don’t realize is that ever since I was little I have had a speech impediment due to surgical complications resulting in paralysis in my throat. This has always affected the way I talk, and caused me great anxiety when any form of presentation was proposed. I was unable to present to people. I would stand in silence and wait to be told to sit back down. I would turn red, sweat and hyperventilate when a teacher asked me to answer a simple question. Even though I knew the answer, I froze. Then a couple of interesting things happened that I can genuinely say changed my life.
Through Engineering Brightness I was given the opportunity to present a poster at the ISEC STEAM conference at Princeton University and again at the ISTE conference in Denver with nearly 19,000 delegates. I was passionate enough about the work, that it gave me confidence to speak to a whole room of strangers. After these challenging opportunities, speaking to a class of 30 friends was simple. In fact, later, I was able to present an entire project in my second language for an hour and… even asked a girl to prom at the end.. as if it were nothing.
Confidence and Public Speaking are skills I get to take away from Engineering Brightness that will benefit me in ways that I cannot yet realize. Three years ago, I wouldn’t even be in this room, let alone on stage. I have always been interested in Law as a career, but my self confidence about speaking kept me away. Engineering Brightness has removed that barrier and now I am in an undergraduate degree to study law.