ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT – Heather Gadalla

By Mia Torres ’24

Heather Gadalla (class of 2020)

1. What is a lesson/memory from WPGA that will stick with you for the rest of your life?

I remember at one of the cafeteria assemblies at the beginning of a school year (I can’t remember now which year), Mr. Anthony encouraged us to look for “slivers of joy” in our daily lives. If something small went well for you, or you really enjoyed a certain class/conversation, or you’re grateful for your friends, take a moment to appreciate it. I’ve always tried to look on the bright side of things, and finding those small moments of joy in the everyday helps me stay positive.

2. Did you have a teacher who inspired you throughout your high school years?

All of my teachers at WPGA inspired me, and I’m so thankful to each and every one of them for the support and guidance they offered me through high school. I honestly can’t narrow it down to just one!

3. How did you move past your comfort zones in high school?

I used to be quite shy, especially around the time when I entered high school. In grade 10, I decided to sign up for the Model UN club and went to my first VYMUN conference. This experience encouraged me to be more confident in public speaking and working in a team, which set the foundation for me to explore leadership roles for the rest of my time in high school. These roles definitely pushed me past my comfort zone, and I’m so glad that I was able to work on these skills in the supportive environment at WPGA.

4. What advice would you give to the graduating students this year?

Enjoy the little moments! Find the “slivers of joy” in your daily lives and make the most of them. Grade 12 can be stressful, but it’s also a surprisingly easy time to take for granted. Take some time to reflect on the last few years and appreciate how much you’ve grown since grade 8. Also, if you want to chat about university (or anything else), don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

5. We’d love to hear a university life update! How are things?

I’m currently in my second year at the University of Toronto, pursuing a specialist degree in molecular genetics & microbiology and a minor in statistics. I’ve been lucky to have had an amazing experience at university so far. I’ve made a lot of friends, become acquainted with the city, and enjoyed getting involved on campus especially now that many clubs are running in-person again!

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