SHAD-ering boundaries

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by Sarah Givlin

SHAD’s program is leading young, bright minds to discover the ideas of the future.

SHAD is an award winning Canadian enrichment program for high school students and provides programming focused on the fields of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).

SHAD is carried out at 16 universities throughout Canada, and aims to open up a broad future for students.

Mesgna Mesgna, a student involved in SHAD, spoke about the program and what he got out of it.

Mesgna is from Winnipeg, MB and is one of many students who travelled across Canada to participate in SHAD.

“We are all from different cities, we all have different high school experiences, we are all in different programs, but a lot of the things we are learning here—they aren’t things that we get the chance to expand on in high school. These things enrich us in something much more,”  Mesgna said. “This program isn’t challenging in the sense that it is hard, but it is challenging in the sense that it is inspiring us to consider the different ways to think or look at something.”

SHAD encourages its teen participants to explore different potential careers and possibly look at a subject in a different light.

“I knew after this school year, from all the work we did with computers, that I wanted to do something in computer science. But, since I have enrolled in [the] business program in SHAD, I would like to do something that connects computers and business,” Mesgna said.

Mesgna doesn’t stop with just business and tech. He also coaches a basketball league and acted in a play last year.         

From these past experiences Mesgna wants to broaden his exposure of the arts world and maybe even write and direct a play of his own.

“We had a music night the other day and there are so many people who can play instruments; it has really inspired me to try that aspect of arts. I never thought that would be interesting but everyone here is really inspiring,” Mesgna said.

Mesgna has been working on getting to know everyone at SHAD in hopes that he will learn something new from each person.

“Listening to a lot of other people’s stories and seeing what they have to bring to the table, it really inspires you to do things that you never thought to do or never thought you could do,” Mesgna said.

With SHAD’s emphasis on experiential learning, these students are also able to get involved in solving problems we may face in the future.

They solve projects and activities in a stimulating environment, where they learn from professors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

“This is a beginning of a new chapter. I really believe that if you put 100 per cent of your time and energy into everything you will be setting yourself up for greatness,” Mesgna said. “Remember to always make the best out of every situation because even if it’s not what you wanted, the amount of experience  and opportunities you can get out of it is unbelievable.”

For more information about how you can get involved with SHAD, contact SHAD’s program manager, Kim Bouche, at kabouche@uwaterloo.ca.

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