Shad Entrance Scholarships for Black Students -Clio Smith
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! My name’s Clio and I’m a grade 11 student from Ontario. I’m passionate about astronomy, history (especially the French Revolution), mathematics, and neuroscience. During my free time I enjoy knitting, spending time in nature, spoiling my dog Jinx, and reading. Some of my favourite authors include Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, Neil Gaiman, David & Leigh Eddings and Douglas Adams. However, I also enjoy sports such as hiking, diving, dance, and swimming, where I recently obtained my national lifeguard certification. Aside from extracurriculars, I like volunteering with local non-profit environmental organizations to work on community-based initiatives. But most importantly, I love trying new things and look forward to the amazing experiences I will gain through Shad.
Q: Why do you want to participate in the Shad program/What are you most looking forward to?
While there are so many aspects of Shad that excite me, I am most looking forward to meeting and forming friendships with other students who are as passionate about STEAM and entrepreneurship as I am (fellow STEAM punks). I am curious to explore new and different fields in a university setting before I apply to university. I’m also excited (and a bit nervous) to try some things that are outside of my comfort zone. For instance, I can’t wait to take part in the Shad design challenge because it will give me a chance to come up with a solution to a real-world problem while improving my problem solving and collaboration skills.
Q: What motivates or sparks your curiosity in STEAM and/or entrepreneurship?
I have been fascinated by and curious about STEAM for as long as I can remember. My parents have always encouraged me to expand my knowledge. I grew up watching documentaries about everything from ecology to history to astronomy, but no matter how much information I soaked up, I always wanted to know more. So, I think the thing that motivates me the most is that I genuinely love learning, especially when it comes to neuroscience, biology or astronomy. I find that the pursuit of acquiring knowledge is one of the most fulfilling ways to spend my time.
Q: How do you envision your future?
I plan on becoming a paediatric neurologist because neuroscience is a passion of mine, and I want to help children with neurological diseases and disorders. When I was suffering from prolonged symptoms from my second major concussion, finding neurologists who were willing to see me was extremely difficult. At one point I had to wait months just to spend 10 minutes with a doctor who was unable to help me. In the future, I want to make sure that fewer children fall through the cracks in the healthcare system and instead get the treatments that they deserve. Additionally, I hope to conduct neuroscience research to learn more about specific neurological disorders and work to create effective prevention strategies and treatments.
Aside from my career aspirations, I hope that in the future I can give back to the communities that have had a positive impact on my life. For example, the Leadership By Design program (LBD) is a program that helps Black youth develop leadership skills. This program has taught me so much about the importance of self-worth and has shown me that I belong in the career field of my choice regardless of my race, gender, or ethnicity. In fact, it is because of LBD that I even had the courage to apply to the Shad program and the scholarship for Black students. I want to give back to these groups throughout my career so that more Black youth join supportive communities, giving them the opportunity and courage to pursue their dreams.
Want to meet the other Black student Scholars? Read their stories