The Enbridge Famous 5 Speaker Series was pleased to welcome Natalie Panek to Fort McMurray on Thursday, February 12, 2015.
By Kamryn Greene, Gr 10 student
When you have the opportunity to listen to a good presenter, they inspire you to feel like you’re 10 feet tall and bullet-proof. But when you listen to a great presenter you feel like you’re talking to your long-time friend. I felt that way when I listened to Natalie Panek’s Enbridge Famous 5 Speaker Series lecture. She was open and genuine, and she brought a sense of comfort and friendliness to the room. Going into the dinner, I can honestly say that I wasn’t sure it would be as good as the others I had been to. I thought that since I don’t like Science in school, listening to a rocket scientist would feel like just another school lesson. However, Natalie Panek spoke with passion and enthusiasm, which left me itching to hear more.
Panek taught me to have confidence in myself, even when it seems that no one else does. She told us that even if it takes four or more applications to get into the internship program of your dreams, it doesn’t mean you’re less qualified than the other 500 people who applied.
She taught me that sometimes giving up everything for the one thing you dreamed of is enough to cause a revolution of change. That being said, it’s not easy. Nothing worth doing is easy, so we should embrace every challenge we face.
She taught me that a key foundation for success is mentorship and that youth, especially girls, are not exposed enough to the scientific field. This is so true. Growing up, my favourite subject in school was always Science, but in fifth grade, I decided that English was better because more of my friends liked it. Even though I was only graced with her company for a few hours, simply hearing Natalie Panek’s passion made me want to adventure off into the complex world of science and keep an open mind about the possibilities science can present to me.
Overall the night was incredibly inspiring and well worth every minute. She left me inspired to try new things, stand up against stereotypes, and love who I am! Thank you, Natalie Panek, for an amazing evening!