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International Day of the Girl Child – Ted Rogers Scholarship recipient Abby Shaver shares how she leads by example

Every kid grows up thinking they can change the world. For Abby Shaver, she isn’t only thinking it – she’s doing it. International Day of the Girl is a day to promote empowerment – focusing attention on the challenges girls face around the world, such as education inequality. This year’s theme, “Digital generation – Our generation” focuses on how technology can empower girls to make the change the world needs towards gender equality. 

Here at Rogers, we believe that all young Canadians should have the chance to reach their highest potential and that’s why we’re helping remove financial barriers in investing in our youth’s future through the Ted Rogers Scholarships. Abby is one of this year’s recipients, and nominated for the scholarship by Canada Learning Code (CLC), an organization dedicated to teaching digital skills such as coding to Canadians, with a particular focus on women, Indigenous youth, new Canadians, and people with disabilities. 

Abby joined the CLC teen ambassador program at the beginning of her eleventh-grade year to expand her coding knowledge and to learn how to share her passion for computer science with others. Now in her first year at the University of Ottawa taking Biomedical Science, we wanted to catch up with Abby to talk more about some of the challenges young girls face in today’s world, and how we can all do our part to make change possible:

International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote empowerment – how do you think your generation of young females can make change possible?

I think an important way for girls to make change in their communities is to lead by example. If you are going through a challenge, this is an opportunity to show your resilience and perseverance. If you believe it is important to help those in need, first start by serving those in your school and community. If you want to see more females in your favourite field of study, begin by pursuing your own passions and venturing from there. When you first begin to change yourself, you can then begin to promote change in your community, then you can change your country and maybe even change the world. 

How have you helped drive social change in your community and school?

I have been fortunate to participate in many initiatives that promote STEM. I was a global semi-finalist for the international Technovation Girls competition in 2020, where my team and I created an app to help aid immigrants in their adjustment to life in Canada. In addition, I helped spark change in my school by starting a Diversity in STEM Club to encourage more females in STEM, and I was a teen ambassador for Canada Learning Code, where I promoted my passion for coding among peers.

Who or what inspires you to stay motivated and to pursue your goals and ambitions?

When pursuing my goals and ambitions, I remember to enjoy the journey. If I am focussing on living in the moment and making the most of where I am right now in life, I know the achievement of my goals will follow. And even if I do not reach certain goals, I will know that the process was worth it because I enjoyed every moment of it. When I am passionate about where I am right now in life, I become motivated to continue, knowing that I can grow from wherever I am.

Through the Ted Rogers Scholarships, we’re supporting youth as they continue their education and develop the skills to succeed, lead, and make their dreams possible.