Saying 'yes' to new opportunities or even career paths like engineering may seem daunting but can open up so many doors. Just ask Jemma who is doing amazing work with her team in school level F1 racing internationally.

Jemma Swaak, Girls in Engineering Club Member.

Imagine a world where you could achieve your wildest dreams and were never worried about the repercussions… Imagine simply saying *yes* to the exciting (and sometimes scary) opportunities that life offers… Imagine where the word *yes* can lead you! 

In 2019 as I was beginning Year 11, I decided to challenge myself to say *yes* to any opportunities that came my way. My mindset was that this was one of my last opportunities to embrace the high school experience, to be able to get away with simply being a “kid” and yet, be respected amongst adults for having some maturity.  

So, I am writing this directly to YOU… whoever you may be… whatever your previous experiences have been… however old you are. This is your chance to start a new mindset (or perhaps just to consolidate the current one you have) - I challenge YOU to say *yes* to the scary new opportunities offered to you this year. 

Maybe you aren’t yet convinced as to why this is a good idea? Well, let me tell you a little bit about how my experimentation with saying *yes* has treated me over the past few years. One day I was waiting to enter my class when I was approached by a teacher. He asked whether I would be interested in being a team manager for an “F1 in Schools Competition”. Quick side note: sorry to car lovers, but personally I know hardly anything about cars or this competition, let alone ever watched F1. However, I decided to take a leap of faith and said *yes*. Little did I know this simple three letter word would be somewhat life changing and future shaping! I ended up meeting my team of boys who taught me a LOT about cars that I did not know and whom I proudly led through the Regionals and Nationals Competition. It is pretty insane for me to even be writing this, but I’m super proud to be saying my team is currently preparing for the Internationals Competition!  

If I look back at my previous self, I know little Year 7 Jemma going into high school would never have expected that I would be involved in the largest worldwide STEM competition, be managing a bunch of boys who quickly became some of my best friends or even to be competing Internationally!? Honestly, I am so thankful for my Grandma who has always inspired me to say *yes*... I know I would have never been interested in the (AMAZING) STEM world of possibilities if it wasn’t for my Grandma reminding me to get involved in whatever I could, to have a positive attitude and simply say *yes*! 

If you are still somehow not convinced, I want you to send me a message… actually, no… I URGE you to send me a message, because I promise you that by embracing and entering those random doors of opportunities your life will be changed in some shape or form. So, will you take up my challenge and say *yes*? 


Written by Jem :)