“Don’t get stuck and let the past stop you.” Meet Beedie Luminary, Selena Smith, currently attending UBC.
What program will you be taking in post-secondary and why does it interest you?
I will be going into the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP) because after being inspired by my teachers both in elementary and high school and seeing how much of an impact on my life they have made it is something that has interested me in teaching. NITEP is one of the only indigenous teacher education programs in B.C.
Tell us a little bit about your background (growing up, going to school, extra-curricular activities, etc.).
I was born and raised on the North Shore where I attended both elementary and high school. Elementary school is where my interest in the performing arts sparked in grade 2. I auditioned to sing in the school talent show and was able to perform. From then on, I have immersed myself in performing arts in school and my community. Throughout high school I was a part of concert, jazz, and chamber choir. I also participated in the drama classes before I wrote, directed, and produced two independent productions in grade 10 and 12 respectively. Outside of school I also acted in one production, and stage managed two for a community theatre group. Other than the arts I liked to get involved in my school community through clubs. In younger grades I participated in the environmental club, and as I got older, I co-led the WE Schools and Ocean Ambassadors club.
Who inspires you, and why?
Zendaya is a huge inspiration to me. I value a lot of the same things she does, and she uses her career to take action and make positive change. She has spoken about how she wants to make a difference especially for her younger fans. When she was a teenager, she produced her own television show because there was a lack of representation of families of colour. She also wanted to create a character that provided a strong female role model for young girls. On her show she even confronted issues such as sexism, racism, and inequality which are all issues that also speak to me. All of these topics are what she acts on in her daily life as well. In the past she has spoken up about racist comments, body shaming, and promotes body positivity. Zendaya’s drive inspires me to take action and speak up for the same values while also doing so in a creative and humble way.
What motivates you, and why?
Growing up being of Indigenous ancestry, unfortunately, I have faced racism and discrimination. However, I have not let this stop me but only motivate me. I wanted to be an example of an educated Indigenous female despite people’s perception of Indigenous stereotypes. Education and equality are important to me which helps me to keep working harder to continuously break those barriers of inequality.
What are your goals for the upcoming school year?
For this upcoming school year my goal is to remain involved in the school community by going out of my comfort zone and seeking opportunities. I would like to join some clubs and broaden my connections especially within my faculty with students in other years. By doing so, I hope to obtain future advice, socialize, and create more excitement allowing me to successfully transition into university.
What is one thing you learned in high school that you will take with you to post-secondary?
In the recent years of high school, I have learned what works for me and what doesn’t both academically and in my daily life. The most important thing I learned is bringing the two together and finding balance. It’s always something that teachers would talk about at school, and something I thought I was achieving. However, looking back it is what I struggled with the most especially towards the end of grade 12. I started forgetting to live in the moment and take care of myself and focussed too heavily on academics which can physically take a toll on you. I needed to find a healthy balance between academics and taking some time for myself. Finding that balance and actually enforcing it is what I will take with me to post-secondary.
What is one piece of advice you would give to future Luminaries?
Don’t get stuck and let the past stop you. There are many opportunities out there that can cater to your individual needs and benefit you in more ways than one. Find something that inspires you, keeps you productive, but also feels fun and replenishing. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and take that step to avoid regret, and once you do be proud of yourself.Back To Top