Reese Ladak: McGill student presenting a unique scientific initiative for eager students amidst COVID-19

Since March, Canada has had to adjust to a new way of life because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst these troubling and unprecedented times, individuals like Reese Ladak have made it their mission to continue intellectual growth and give back to the community.

Reese is a fourth-year biomedical sciences undergraduate student at McGill University. He was recently appointed as the Regional Director, the Quebec chapter of Youreka Canada, and is presenting a unique opportunity for all eager and curious student scientists located throughout Canada.

Youreka Canada is a registered Albertan non-profit organization with the mission of engaging high school-aged youth in scientific research. After a successful pilot program in 2017/2018 in Calgary, the organization partnered with the University of Calgary Werklund School of Education to promote the merits of inquiry-based learning as offered by the Youreka Canada program, and has since expanded across Canada. Youreka is committed to promoting scientific passion, interest, and inquiry amongst youth who are eager to explore a topic of their interest.

To give participants a realistic research experience, the program consists of investigators and senior investigators, which are reserved for high school and post-secondary students, respectively. During the 10-week program scheduled to take place in Winter 2021, investigators will be grouped based on their shared passions and will collaborate with each other to conduct a research project under the guidance and mentorship of a senior investigator.  Through the program, all the participants will also build essential research skills that will benefit their future interests, both scientific and non-scientific. These include critical thinking, inquiry, data analysis, presentation, and collaboration skills. At the conclusion of the program, the participants will present their findings in the form of a poster or slideshow presentation at a year-end symposium to a diverse audience of students, professors, and experts in the field.

This year, particular emphasis will be placed on COVID-19 research, making the material that the participants learn directly relevant and beneficial to current world affairs.

“As a high school student, I developed a profound passion towards cancer research but unfortunately wasn’t able to secure a research position to cultivate these interests. When I heard about Youreka and its vision, I was eager to join the cause and give opportunities to high school youth that I never had the privilege to partake in. This program not only offers a chance to further develop your scientific passions, but it also breeds innovation, allows for a chance to be on the forefront of cutting-edge research, and fosters future scientists” – Reese

Acknowledging the health and safety guidelines implemented in all provinces, Youreka will be hosting their program primarily through an online format, effectively allowing students from all over the country to partake in this unique and exciting initiative.

Don’t just be part of the future, help shape it!

At this time, six major cities– Calgary, Edmonton, Kingston, Windsor, Toronto, Montreal – are actively recruiting senior investigators and investigators. If you are interested or want to learn more about this innovative program, please email Reese at or visit

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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