Finalist Entrepreneurship: Gigi Huang, Mother Teresa High School
In 2012, Gigi Huang came to Canada from Taiwan, ahead of the other members of her family, in order to do the best she could to further her education. Immediately, she immersed herself in the curricular and extra-curricular activities of her new school environment at Mother Teresa High School, making the Honour Role in each year of high school while sharing her talents in a wide range of programs. Billeted by a family that she did not know, she tutored Math and Chemistry while working on her English skills. She took part in Vocal Ensemble Choir, Peer Helping, the Mother Teresa “I Matter, You Matter” mental health initiative, Debate Club, Swim Team, Prom Committee and Badminton Club. Gigi founded the Titans Around the World Club and represented her Grade 10 and 11 classmates on Student Council before being elected Student Council Co-President, thus bringing the voice of ESL students to the high school’s student government. In her spare time, Gigi volunteered at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital in both the Gift Shop and the ICU. In 2015, Gigi applied for a Summer Company Program grant which she used to set up “Gigi’s Pastry”. Through her business, Gigi has learned entrepreneurial skills and specializes in healthy cakes and fundraising opportunities, while introducing Mother Teresa staff and students to Taiwanese pastries. Her business has been such a success that she has been invited to present it to the Ottawa Catholic School Board as an example of entrepreneurial success within the board.
Quote:” As the only child, my parents have a lot of expectations for me. Deep in my heart, I know the only way to pay them back for all of their sacrifices will be to achieve my future goals.”
Finalist Entrepreneurship: Mohammed Omer, Glebe Collegiate
Moe is a self-taught videographer, animator, web developer and entrepreneur. His latest endeavours include the creation of a new smartphone, currently in the prototype phase. Three years ago (at the age of 13) Moe had the idea for a phone that was more affordable, more accessible and more innovative than devices available at that time. He developed his concept, then approached a friend of his that attended Carleton University. He agreed to help see his project through and slowly his team increased in size. Moe’s phone was designed by youth, for youth, and will soon be available commercially. Moe is a great example of youth succeeding in spite of social barriers. He grew up in one of Ottawa’s low income neighbourhoods, which meant that opportunities and resources – especially for expensive technologies — were limited. Moe taught himself almost all of the technological expertise that he possesses. He has never let social barriers stop him, but has gone out on a limb to make things happen in his life. Moe appeared on Dragon’s Den last year in an effort to fundraise for his cell phone project. Moe volunteers in his community, providing web development/design and videography at community meetings and events. Having this kind of technology and skill in the community has meant that that neighbours can more easily collaborate, strategize and find solutions to local issues. His success, particularly at such a young age, is proof that youth can truly achieve remarkable things, as long as they have drive, passion, and of course, a little bit of community support.
Quote: “Literally ANYONE can be ANYTHING nowadays, technology has broken down the barriers of time, age, location and more! I’m 16, but i’m also an industrial designer, a graphics designer, a web designer/developer, a videographer, a YouTuber and a CEO.”