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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Chioma Okechukwu

Chioma Okechukwu

Software Engineering Student and Women for STEM Award Recipient, Class of 2024

From a young age, Chioma was fascinated by STEM subjects. “I enjoyed learning about the world around me through my science classes, solving problems in my math classes, and learning to type in my computer classes, which sparked my curiosity about technology”.

Chioma continued to explore and experiment with different technology and it grew to her discovering the problem-solving nature of STEM and how these topics can make a difference in society. “I was drawn to the world of software engineering, and I loved the idea of using technology to create innovative solutions to complex problems. I knew that this was the field I wanted to pursue in both my studies and my career.”

Chioma was accepted to Ontario Tech University and qualified for the Women for STEM scholarship in 2019, making her a part of the first group of students in the program. “When I received the Women for STEM scholarship upon entering university, it was a huge boost for me both financially and emotionally. Not only did the scholarship provide me with the financial assistance I needed to pursue my studies, but it also served as a source of encouragement, launching me into the next step of my educational journey.”

Chioma has been able to gain knowledge and advice through our commitment to helping women say yes to STEM by providing financial, practical and professional support. “Through the program, I've been able to connect and build friendships with other women in STEM students as well as my mentor. She’s shared her perspective on navigating the workforce as a minority, and we’ve had insightful conversations on dealing with imposter syndrome and managing leadership positions.”

Chioma has enjoyed the opportunity to network and connect with fellow students and individuals in STEM fields. An event she highlights is the annual Women for STEM Summit. “These events provide an opportunity to network with various professionals in the field and to hear inspiring stories from keynote speakers. I was surrounded by so many who share my passion for STEM, and we had the chance to recognize the council members and donors for their support and contributions to the program.”

Now nearing the end of her undergraduate degree, Chioma is excited to take the knowledge and experiences into her future. “Looking back on my experiences with the Women for STEM program, I'm incredibly grateful for the exposure I've had, and the support I've received along the way. While the future may be uncertain, I feel confident that I'm not going in blind, thanks to the advice and wisdom I've gained through the program.”

“To any younger women considering STEM, I encourage you to try it out and keep your curiosity alive! The field is constantly evolving and there are so many exciting opportunities waiting for you!”