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Helen Chen, High School Student

An ambitious and naive five year old, I often told others that I would like to become a scientist finding the cure to cancer or an astronaut. An elementary school student, I was the inquisitive girl who kept asking questions beyond the scope of her grade to the point where my science teachers couldn’t answer my questions. My interest in science rooted from my numerous questions about the world around me, and that interest swerved to medicine as my uncle, grandfather, and my family friends’ son passed away from cancer; these unfortunate events planted seeds in my head at a very young age, and since then, I’ve always wanted to improve the lives of the people around me. As I grew older, my interest in STEM grew exponentially. I’m in the TOPS Program that has a focus on STEM, and it has been named by Maclean’s as one of the best in the country. I've been involved in the Foundation for Student Science and Technology for three years now, where I’ve chaired the Research in Science Exhibition (which provides students with the opportunities and connections to do research) and I have written a research paper about the zika virus, which is about to be published, under the mentorship of Dr. Brad Bass. I am a young member of the Junior Academy of the New York Academy of the Sciences and I was a Yale Young Global Scholar at their Applied Science and Engineering program this past summer. I am honoured to represent Canada at the International Day for Women and Girls in Science at the UN this month and I am very hopeful, watching my STEM path growing and getting closer to my goal of becoming a medicinal chemist with the WHO.

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