This video is the best Christmas present I have ever received from two years ago when I visited the Philippines representing Canada for an international competition. When I was in the Philippines I was welcomed by the kindness and generosity of the Filipino people, and it was extremely unfortunate because during my time there, the country was hit by hurricane Mangkhut which destroyed many homes and killed many people. For the talent competition I came in second and won a $250 USD scholarship, which wasn’t a big sum but I decided to donate the money back to the Filipino children to fund building a school and giving them educational supplies. $250 might seem like a little to us, but it’s quite a lot especially in such a time of need! What really touched me was that in December 2018, 2 months after the competition I was sent a video from the school of children that I helped, where they said “thank you Ariel” and all held signs in appreciation in the video. I have donated to a lot of causes throughout my life and this was the first time that I was really touched because it was such a small contribution from my end and the children spent such a long time appreciating the gift. 一个五秒的视频总是让我热泪盈眶。18年10月，我代表加拿大去菲律宾参加一个国际比赛，赢得了才艺第二名和250美金的奖励。当时正赶上东南亚地区山竹飓风，我决定把奖金通过主办方捐给当地灾民。回到加拿大的两个月后，收到这个视频。一群菲律宾小学生，异口同声地用英语大喊 ”Thank you， Ariel!” ，太让我感动了。
I had the opportunity to represent Canada at an international competition in the Philippines in 2018, and in this video we are packing food for the hard-hit areas of Typhoon Mangkhut. The natural disaster was quite scary as even the hotels we stayed at and the roads we drove by were flooded with water. The delegates and I at the competition all wanted to contribute back in some way, and we were able to pack hundreds of packets of food to be sent to the deeply affected locations. More than ever, in times of hardship we need to stand together and help each other, no matter where we are from and where we are located.
8 chapters, 800 women. Every time I see this photo I am so thankful to have been a part of this community at UBC, where I was able to thrive as a leader and make lifelong friendships. This photo was taken last year in September when we welcomed our new members for the year. Sadly this year we weren’t able to take another one of these family photos due to the Pandemic, but the virtual platform was all we needed to continue to facilitate the sisterhood values we strive to uphold.
Thank you to UBC Sororities for allowing us to represent UBC’s Panhellenic Community at Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values Central Conference. From workshops on how to be an effective leader, to seminars about gaining confidence for women in the professional workplace, AFLV has been an exceptional learning experience where we got to connect with 3000+ Greek leaders across North America, with UBC being the only Canadian delegation. This was my second year back at AFLV representing UBC (the previous year being UBC Sororities Vice President of Marketing) and this year was a blast as well. As the Panhellenic President, I was super excited to bring the new ideas back to UBC Sororities and to help our community grow with my amazing team of empowered women!
Every year my sorority organizes two big philanthropic events for our chosen charities, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Court Appointed Special Advocates. This particular year we were able to raise $11030.79 as a collective chapter of 100 women during our annual charity fashion show, and I am so proud of my sisters for this extraordinary achievement.
In December 2019, I was elected as President of UBC Sororities, a community of 800+ women. My term as President just recently concluded, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with an incredible council, supportive alumnae advisors, 8 other inspiring Chapter Presidents, and many other campus organizations who have grown and learned with us this year. Not going to sugar coat it: this was a hard year, not just for me but for every exec in the Panhellenic Community. As a woman of colour leading in an organization that has historically been white, I continue to pledge to be a good ally and, this year more than ever, we have seen how much great work there needs to be done for our community to improve on our equity and diversity promises. A big thank you also goes to UBC’s Sexual Violence Prevention Office for helping my council in creating a sexual misconduct resource package, a Panhellenic protocol, and (soon to come) a Canvas training module for our execs and membership so that we can further take a survivor-centric approach in sexual assault situations. Many tears were shed, laughter was shared, miles were travelled, and funds were raised. I never thought I would stand in this position today coming into the organization 4.5 years ago. The values of UBC Sororities mattered to me when I joined and still resonate with me now that I am entering alum-hood. Whether it be service, leadership, scholarship, or social involvement, I will continue to live as a leading woman!
As the promotional team lead, I wanted to create a program that was more than just a marketing team. I structured it to allow UBC girl bosses to connect in educational, healthy, active, and philanthropic means, leading to collaborations with more UBC organizations focused on female empowerment, and charities such as Rabbitats for Humanity and Downtown Eastside Women's Centre. This photo was taken with my co-rep, Shivani, when we volunteered at Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre to serve lunch on a weekend.
Super cool seeing myself appear on the app interface for the college girl brand!
As our promotional campus team was recognized as one of the top 10 campuses in North America for our work in creating empowering events in our campus community, I had the opportunity of a lifetime as a Campus Rep, where I got lucky and was selected to model in a photo shoot in California for the brand. I met so many kind & supportive friends throughout the trip, and their help was truly the cherry on top! This was the most incredible experience ever (especially considering all these years I have been doing pageants & freelance modeling work) and I am so beyond grateful to be a part of this girl power movement, where girls from all backgrounds are celebrated, has been surreal and inspiring in all the ways imaginable.
At UBC, I have joined many female-powered organizations where our goals were to create a network for UBC female students. I was the Campus Representative of a promotional team for a college girl brand, and we hosted many events throughout the year that were centered around health and wellness. This photo was taken at our “Pay It Forward Bunny Yoga,” centralized on destressing before finals season. We had our attendees paying it forward by donating toiletries to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre upon entry, and supporting Rabbitats Rescue Society (the non-profit organization that helped transport these adorable bunnies to our campus). It was SO cute and we were able to do yoga AND play with bunnies! Our girls had an amazing time and my team was an absolute delight in helping to run the event smoothly!
After participating in all these hackathons, I was very inspired to help in organizing a hackathon to pass on the learning experience that I gained to more around me. Last year I joined the team, nwPlus, that organizes the biggest Western Canada hackathons (including the one I participated called nwHacks), and became a Logistics Coordinator for cmd-f*, the largest female 24-hour hackathon in Canada. Some of our wins throughout the year include hosting 3 small-scale events prior to cmd-f to connect UBC women* in tech, including networking events with industry professionals, and workshops to help tackle tech interviews. With 278 hackers, 40 volunteers & 40 organizers, cmd-f 2020 was our second iteration. I have personally learned so much from this educational experience in running a big event and working with a multitude of different types of logistics. A special thanks to my Director - Anlin, my team - Anita & Shu Ting, and the rest of nwPlus for all their support. Really couldn’t have done it without them all! Check out the cute recap video here: youtu.be/HwSv6NsqDWM
Cryptocurrency is the new hype of our age. We wanted to explore the possibilities of managing Cryptocurrency transactions at the tips of our fingers through social media outlets. At the same time, we wanted to tackle the problem of splitting bills when we eat out with friends, through sending Ethereum to settle payments. At nwHacks 2018, Steven, Matthew, Ethan, Cynthia and I, created a Facebook messenger bot that helps to facilitate secure crypto transactions across two ends. We ended up winning Best Secure Next Generation Mobile Banking App & Best Social Hack with a $2000 cash prize. What a wonderful group of friends to learn from and work together, where I am inspired and motivated everyday!
A week after EduHacks, my friends George, Ethan, Steven, and I flew down to UC Berkeley in California to compete in CalHacks with our product - Tapp. It was an enlightening experience competing internationally and the opportunity was one of a kind!
With four of my friends, Cynthia, Matthew, Ethan, and Steven, we joined a 24-hour hackathon, EduHacks, a few months after our win at BizHacks. Amongst the 500+ participants, to our delight we took home the first place grand prize with our product, “DashView”, along with a $10000 cheque and various prizes from the generous EduHacks sponsors. The theme for the competition is to enhance our education experience with technology, and our product, DashView, is a futuristic and customizable dashboard tailored to a student's educational needs. We kept an open mind coming into the competition; we just wanted to have fun and learn. In a short 24 hours, the skills/ideas we gained from our teammates and from the mentors were incomparable to what we learned at school for an entire year. Something valuable I took home was a speech from one of the judges, Sarah Lubik: if we want positive changes to our education, we are the ones who have to take action (no one else is going to do that for us!). With dedication and persistence, our team created a product that all of us would actually use in real life. I think that one of our winning factors was the diversity of the team. Two of us were commerce & computer science students, two of us were engineers, and then there is me, who studies visual arts and computer science. Our very different perspectives, when brought together, created something outstanding. I am extremely thankful for my team, as they helped me discover my own strengths and weaknesses and pushed me to be the best. Through failures and critiques and lots of sweat and a lack of sleep, we all contributed and worked our hardest so that we can develop a feasible idea that will benefit not only ourselves, but also the people around us.
Towards the end of my first year my friends, Steven, Ethan, Tracy, Barry, and I participated in a hackathon, which is a 24-hour competition where we come up with a product idea and develop a semi-working prototype based on the competition themes. We came in first place out of 40 teams, and our product used NFC technology where customers could tap their phone on a pricetag in stores to find customer support and product info, without the need to download an app. We were super surprised with the outcome and could not be thankful enough for the amazing opportunities that came afterwards to interact with industry professionals.