A North Islander returned home recently to give science lectures at our local high schools.
Laura Chilson spoke to North Island Secondary School’s Science 10 class on June 6 and Port Hardy Secondary School’s Biology 12 class on June 7.
Chilson graduated from Port Hardy Secondary School back in 2017 and just finished her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology from Vancouver Island University.
She’s planning to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical or biological sciences with a long-term goal of practicing medicine, and recently earned a Boursiers McCall MacBain Scholars Regional Award, placing among the top 80 of nearly 700 applicants this year. The scholarship recognizes engaged student leaders who have demonstrated character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength and intellectual curiousity.
When asked how it felt to get the award, she said it was very validating because “the scholarship wasn’t about being the best, they were looking for diverse applicants who had strong leadership capabilities and volunteer experience, so yeah it was great to get it and be able to say here is something that shows you’re successful.”
Chilson opened the hometown science lectures by introducing herself and talking about all the lessons she’d learned during university that she wished she’d known during high school, motivating the students by telling them they can be successful no matter where they go after graduating.
“I also lectured about immunology because I specialized in cell and molecular biology during my bachelor of science, and I thought it was an awesome topic due to everything that’s happened recently with covid,” she said. “I came back to tell the students you can do anything you want in life so long as you have the passion and motivation to do it.”
She said the lectures were well received and it felt great to come back home and speak to the students. Above all else, she wanted them to know it’s important not to compare yourself to other people.
“It won’t help you get anywhere, everyone has their own path and you can all be successful in your own way,” she said.