“One piece of advice I would give future Luminaries is to celebrate your successes” – Meet Beedie Luminary, Elika Noorizadeh-Leilabadi. Learn more about Elika.
What program will you be taking in post-secondary and why does it interest you?
I currently go to the University of British Columbia and I’m in the faculty of arts. I plan on minoring in French and maybe majoring in International relations or political science. I decided to minor in French because learning a new language is a valuable skill in addition to it having been a large part of my academic life. I’ve been taking French since the 5th grade, and my goal is to become proficient in it by the end of university. I am working towards becoming a lawyer so I chose to pick a major that focuses on analysis, and extensive reading and writing in order for me to prepare for that career path.
Tell us a little bit about your background (growing up, going to school, extra-curricular activities, etc.).
I immigrated to Canada about 10 years ago. My family and I moved to North Vancouver, where I went to Queen Mary elementary school, and later Carson graham Secondary. I spent the first couple years of elementary school focusing on my English, but I became more involved in the community in high school. I was the president of the debate team, I was the head of communications in grad council, I volunteered at the Cheakamus centre for the outdoor school programme, I played for the rugby team and ran for the cross-country team. I was in free the children and model UN and I was in band and choir at some point too. Both my elementary and high school were IB so there was a focus on being a well-rounded citizen and I worked hard to embody that.
Who inspires you, and why?
Elle Woods from the movie “Legally Blonde” is a character that I look up to very much. Elle is one of the strongest female characters I’ve ever seen. She is confident and driven and hard working. She is constantly working on improving herself but she never sacrifices who she truly is in order to fit in. Elle inspires me because I’m often not taken seriously and, despite my best efforts, I let that affect how I view my own intelligence and self-worth. She also shows me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to as long as I am kind, work hard, and stay true to my personal strengths.
What motivates you, and why?
I have a vision of who I want to become, and I know that my life goals will not be fully realised unless I work hard. My parents worked very hard in order for me to have the privileges and opportunities that I have today and I can’t waste that.
What are your goals for the upcoming school year?
My goals for the upcoming school year are to do well on my courses and to be involved on campus. I plan on joining clubs that interest me, and staying physically active. I hope to make friends with some the hundreds of people that I will meet, and I hope that I will achieve a balance between my schoolwork and my social life.
What is one thing you learned in high school that you will take with you to post-secondary?
The one key thing I learned in high school is to always take a second to react. I am a very emotional person so whenever there were hiccups along the way or moments that caused me to be angry or really happy, I would react accordingly and follow my first instincts. But when I began counselling for Outdoor school, I realized that a being a good leader is more about taking careful consideration before every action, and handling situations calmly. Being composed is more effective than raising my voice and getting upset easily. I realized that at the end of the day being frustrated because of the actions of others and stressing about every minor detail would only bother me. Applying that logic to everyday life made me happier and more put together.
What is one piece of advice you would give to future Luminaries?
One piece of advice I would give future Luminaries is to celebrate your successes. I had a very hard time believing that I deserved my achievements. I saw so many of my peers, many smarter than me, or more athletic than me, or better than me in other ways, not get into their top schools or receive any scholarships. That made me wonder if I really deserved any of my accomplishments since I thought that I was not as capable as them. So, when I received the Beedie Luminaries scholarship I didn’t tell many people about it, just my close friends. Maybe this was just my high school, but there was always this sense of intense competition for every scholarship or award or good grade, and that did motivate me to work harder but also dissolved any sense of community. So, surround yourself with people that don’t see your accomplishments as a threat to their success, and be proud of every achievement. Because the accomplishments achieved through hard work are not handouts. Instead they are proof that hard work does pay offBack To Top