Youth Advisory Council Calgary, with some help from their friends at YAC UofC, hosted their first awareness event ever this March at University of Calgary! Speaking for the Future, a youth-conference event with a variety of interesting speakers, focused on the importance of volunteerism, education, wellness and breast health.
The group worked hard over the course of six months, to plan, prepare and coordinate the entire event. Using their leadership skills, they managed to find four fantastic speakers who were diverse and engaging, sharing their expertise on volunteerism, community engagement, education & research, and health & wellness.
Cassidy Robertson kicked off the event by sharing her story of academic struggle and her belief in the power of learning on your own terms. An entrepreneur since the age of 10, Robertson encouraged the audience to become active members of the community and explained that academia is not the only option to obtaining success. Now embarking on her her first large eco-buiness venture, she attested to the value of paving your own path regardless of what the norm may be.
Adelina Cozma, a first-year University of Calgary student studying Biomedical Sciences, followed Robertson with an alternative perspective of success. Participating in science fairs each year since seventh grade, she developed a great passion for neuroscience research. She shared with the audience her motivation to become a neurosurgeon and biomedical researcher, and helped to assure them that if academia is their passion, that their goals are within their reach.
Followed by a delicious lunch for the attendees, young breast cancer survivor, Victoria David, shared her story the challenges of being a young adult cancer patient in a health care system largely designed for older patients. Victoria drove home the reason why Youth Advisory Council does the work that we do, to educate youth about breast health and the importance of risk reduction and early detection. After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy & radiotherapy, David was deemed cancer free. She is now a student in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Calgary.
To wrap up the event, attendees were treated to a fun and energetic predestination from medical student Alexei Khair. Khair explained the difficulties of balancing school work and life, and offered strategies to manage their mental health & wellness.
Thank you so much to all the members of Youth Advisory Council, Calgary and UofC, who dedicated so much time to planning Speaking for the Future. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation looks forward to seeing what you have in store for us next!