Liliana Austin (2020 CST Scholarship Award) describes how her mom once told her she could do anything she set her mind to do. Now, armed with her 2020 CST Scholarship Award, Liliana is finally ready to believe her.

This humble overachiever from Brampton Ontario describes herself as a mad scientist in-the-making, a former competitive swimmer, a boxer and a published poet. On a more personal note, she is also a self-professed Fleetwood Mac fanatic who claims she can’t stop smiling. Liliana has taught swimming; she’s volunteered at soup kitchens and at boxing tournaments and she is a Teen Mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel. Not surprisingly, Liliana’s interests are equally varied and impressive on the academic front.

Liliana is passionate about education, social justice and working with children; she dedicates herself to all three endeavours in an impressive array of capacities. Liliana channels her passion for math, science and French as a peer tutor and as an earnest advocate for women in computer science. She also founded Copains de lecture en français, a French reading program to promote bilingualism and literacy in her school community. Little wonder that in June 2020, Liliana graduated from Cardinal Leger Secondary School among the top three academic achievers in her graduating class.

Raised along with her sister by a single mom, Liliana recognized that going to university would open countless doors for her. Yet without the financial means, university seemed like a distant dream. Receiving the 2020 CST Scholarship Award will help her plan a future filled with potential. Liliana is determined to make the most of this incredible gift.

Armed with her scholarship, Liliana accepted an offer to attend the University of Ottawa, where she is currently pursuing a degree in Biomedical Science. As the first person in her family to attend university, Liliana realizes just how lucky she is. “Going to university has pretty much been my goal my entire life… now that I’ve been accepted at university, I feel I’ve accomplished my goal. I feel like I can achieve anything,” explains Liliana.

Undergraduate studies are just the first step in Lilian’s long-term plan; after earning her BSc, Liliana plans to attend medical school to become a doctor. Though she is unsure whether she will ultimately settle in the OB-GYN or paediatric surgery specialties, Lilian knows that she would eventually like to work with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), helping those who would otherwise be unable to access medical care. Congratulations, Liliana, we can’t wait to see what you do next!