“Encouraging young women and men in STEM is key to gaining more leaders and problem solvers that can address our current concerns in new, innovative ways.”

-Janica Altea L. Echavez

Age: 23

Hometown: Cebu, Philippines

Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta

Affiliations: Next 36 Canada, Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Advisory Group, Science Expo Canada, Foundation of Student Science and Technology

what influenced you to become a change-maker?

I was born and raised in the Philippines. While we owned a family exporting business, I was aware that additional support would be needed for me to complete my education. This had an impact on how I approached my schooling and caused me to question why opportunities were not equitably shared among young people. The gaps in the Philippines became more apparent when I moved to Canada and saw that clean water was offered abundantly from the tap. Inspired by this, I wanted to become an engineer, focusing on smart water technologies for managing water resources in urban and rural settings. In the past, I focused my solutions on identifying better water filtration in rural places, modelling means to reduce disease carriers in water, and assisting in the development of a mobile app to detect water disruptors. While these are important solutions, I believe the greater challenge is rethinking and addressing the way we live

How does your work promote gender equality in Canada and around the world?

One of the most fulfilling endeavors that I’ve been able to do involves building communities of passionate students around science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through Science Expo Canada and the Foundation of Student Science and Technology, I’ve been heavily involved in expanding student enrichment programs in Alberta, eventually helping to increase the organizations’ reach to roughly 1500 students. In the process, I was named an Ambassador for Women in Science for the Prairie region through the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. I spoke at local high schools and newcomer-focused conferences about the importance of getting more girls into STEM, encouraging youth to take advantage of youth leadership and engagement programs geared towards science.

What inspires you to make a difference in the world?

Growing up with creative and industrious parents, I’ve always enjoyed making new things and solving different problems. This process is even more fulfilling when done for a greater cause. The capacity to create high impact, matched with the fact that I can work with other talented and passionate people, motivates me on a daily basis.

More 2019 Top 30 Alumni

John Christy Johnson

"I urge you to pay back to community, leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the prospective engineer, scientist, or astronaut, and pass the baton as you strive for personal success." -John Christy Johnson Age: 22 Hometown: Angadical, Kerala, India Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: University of Alberta Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory, ClickandPush Accessibility Inc., TEDxUAlberta As an Indo-Canadian and identical twin, I spend a fair proportion of my time thinking about...

Belen Samuel

"Acknowledge the call to relationship and reconciliation that is present with the land you stand upon." -Belen Samuel Age: 26 Hometown: Born in Zimbabwe, originally from Eritrea Currently Residing In: Treaty 6 (Amiskwaskahegan/Edmonton, Alberta) Affiliations: Supports with Dreaming Rainbow I am a Zimbabwean-born Eritrean settler with migration experiences as a refugee. I currently exist on Treaty 6 territory, where over the past five years, I worked at the Africa Centre and at Youth...

Hannah Mercader

"You don’t have to do something out of the ordinary to make a special impact. Be mindful of how to make the small moments count." -Hannah Mercader Age: 27 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Mama na Mtoto, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary From a very young age, I have always had an interest in the health of vulnerable populations. Being born in rural Philippines and growing up in a low-income immigrant family in Canada, I understand...

Emilie Duchesne

"Knowing when to take and give space for others is the very first step in taking a stance against gender inequality." -Emilie Duchesne Age: 25 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Youth Empowerment and Supports Services (YESS), Comité Francoqueer de l’Ouest, Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta (FJA) Who I am is shaped and moulded by my belief in equity and inclusion for all types of people. I am a passionate, part-time social work student currently...

Gideon Mentie

"Stories can multiply the impact of a good initiative, so let’s learn how to be captivating storytellers!" -Gideon Mentie Age: 22 Hometown: Brooks, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: SPECT, FullSoul Uganda, CAWST (ACGC Member), Canadian Foodgrains Bank I am a 22-year-old Ethiopian-Canadian civil engineering student, born and raised in the little prairie town of Brooks, Alberta. Growing up in Brooks, where over 100 different languages are spoken, I was always...

Saige Godberson

"In the face of adversity, do not settle but rather speak up and create change." -Saige Godberson Age: 23 Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta Currently Residing In: Spruce Grove, Alberta Affiliations: Youthnited Nations International, Stollery Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sigma Nursing Honors Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics Edmonton I often say that “if everyone makes a small change, together we will make a big difference.” As a registered nurse in...

Adam Goodwin

"Incorporate changes to address gender equality in your daily life. This can be in your own community, at the regional level, or through an international opportunity." -Adam Goodwin Age: 29 Hometown: Red Deer, Alberta Currently Residing In: Red Deer, Alberta Affiliations: Sport4one I spend a considerable amount of my personal time investing in the sport for development and peace industry. The industry employs sport as a means for economic, environmental, and social development. I became a...

Tina Guo

"As young individuals, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to advocate for marginalized populations, and strive to effect positive change in our communities." -Tina Guo Age: 22 Hometown: Calgary, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Students Against Domestic Abuse Association, Outrun the Stigma Calgary, Student Run Clinic Born to a poor, first-generation immigrant family, I understood at a tender age the irreplaceability of diligence and tenacity. However,...

Janica Altea L. Echavez

"Encouraging young women and men in STEM is key to gaining more leaders and problem solvers that can address our current concerns in new, innovative ways." -Janica Altea L. Echavez Age: 23 Hometown: Cebu, Philippines Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Next 36 Canada, Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Advisory Group, Science Expo Canada, Foundation of Student Science and Technology I was born and raised in the Philippines. While we owned a family exporting business, I was...

Peter Anto Johnson

"People become change-makers when they work towards a mutually benefiting outcome, one based on tolerance and respect." -Peter Anto Johnson Age: 22 Hometown: Angadical, Kerala, India Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Run for Support and Health (RuSH), University Infant Toddler Centre – University of Alberta, Student Health Committee, Health & Wellness Movement, Obesity Canada - Students & New Professional I’m a women and children’s health researcher, community...
Share This