“I invite all youth in our community to identify opportunities to create change and to not be afraid to pitch their ideas to mentors for support.”

-Bryce Thomsen

Age: 23

Hometown: Camrose, Alberta

Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta

Affiliations: TEC Edmonton, Health City, University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine

What influenced you to become a change-maker?

Growing up in a small town in rural Alberta, I always wondered what life was like on the global stage. I was fascinated with various cultures and their ways of life, but soon realized individuals faced inequities solely because of the environment they were born into. Passionate and motivated to make a change, I started to address these inequities by founding a polio campaign to vaccinate children in refugee camps, and moving to Australia to improve health outcomes amongst Indigenous communities through collaborative research. This journey has since led me into the field of medicine, where I have a special interest in reducing sexual violence, improving access to sexual and reproductive health care services, and increasing gender equality. I have since entered into the field of social entrepreneurship, co-founding a medical software technology aimed at reducing barriers to sexual and reproductive health care services.

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

One of the projects I am a part of has been aiming to reduce the prevalence of HPV-related cancer through the use of an innovative, self-administered cervical cancer screening device developed at the University of Alberta. This technology is meant to replace traditional pap smears, which some women avoid due to the stigma associated with the examination process. The technology is currently being validated in partnership with a hospital in Kenya, where woman perform the self-administered vaginal swab themselves, empowering them to take ownership over their health and, hence, reducing barriers to reproductive health care.

Additionally, I have worked to reduce sexual violence on campus, in the community, and on the global stage. Recently, I attended a summit in Romania with leaders from all over the world discussing methods to reduce gender-based violence, and have since spoken at various events regarding bystander intervention strategies and the reduction of rape culture on campus.

How does the work you do addressing gender inequality connect to progress on the other Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality is fundamental to the progress of society towards a just and equitable world. Gender is interwoven into all aspects of our lives, and the intersectionality between gender and race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status may combine to further compound inequality. We must continually work to remove the negative impacts that gender discrimination has on our communities.

More 2019 Top 30 Alumni

Elizabeth Roden

"You don’t have to do something on a grand scale; just live your values and stand up for what you believe in." -Elizabeth Roden Age: 29 Hometown: Glendon, Alberta Currently Residing In: Calgary, Alberta Affiliations: Operation Eyesight (ACGC Member) From an early age, I’ve always believed that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I helped form a leadership group at my high school and was eager to learn more about world issues. In 2007, I moved to Calgary to pursue a degree...

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,...

Koshin Mohomoud

"The most important thing for anyone wanting to make a change is to get involved. Whether you are able to volunteer a little bit of your time or a lot, it is always important." -Koshin Mohomoud Age: 29 Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Edmonton Somali Professionals I am currently a senior policy advisor with the Government of Alberta. Prior to my current role, I worked in both the public and private sectors and spent time working in my...

Hamila Al-Turk

"Gender equality is not just a women’s issue, but a human rights issue, and we all need to be part of the conversation." Age: 21 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: City of Edmonton Youth Council, Social Equity Subcommittee, Diabetes Canada Club One of the wisest teachers to have taught me once said, “Compassion is the basis of all morality, so live your life as if you were a mirror that reflects the good back to people.” Being a student under her...

Amber Rai

"To be a change-maker, you must identify an issue that needs to be addressed, think of ways to bring about the change, and evaluate your efforts to ensure you are making the impact that you hoped for." -Amber Rai Age: 20 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Currently Residing In: Sherwood Park, Alberta Affiliations: Learning Beyond Borders, HEAL International Ever since I joined the Learning Beyond Borders club over five years ago, I have been working on programs to help students in rural Uganda....

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...

Nicole Jones-Abad

"It’s important to honour people’s pronouns, have physically accessible all-gender washrooms at events, and talk about gender in less binary terms. It’s also important to check in on your trans and non-binary friends, and make room for them."     -Nicole Jones-Abad Age: 23 Hometown: Quito, Ecuador Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Shades of Colour, RAYE (Rainbow Alliance for Youth of Edmonton), QWTF (Queer Women and Trans-folk Fest), The Edmonton Shift Lab While I’ve lived...

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...

Lindsay Brouwer

"We need to promote the idea that your gender does not limit you with what you chose to do with your life." -Lindsay Brouwer Age: 28 Hometown: Lethbrdige, Alberta Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta Affiliations: Young Nurses Take Action Foundation,Canadian Association of Medical Teams Abroad, Project Amazonas, Stollery Children’s Hospital First and foremost, my parents were the most influential people in shaping who I have become. They provided me with constant unconditional love and...

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...
Share This