Natasha Boyd is a second-year Global Development student from Ottawa. When asked about herself she mentions four key elements of her life: she has a dog, she is passionate about gender equality and global issues, she is biracial, and most importantly, she lives what she studies.
When she was about to enter 11th grade, she shifted from a big school to a small one. She realized that a tight-knit community that catered to her needs was the best way to grow, and she had that in mind when it was time to find a university. Natasha’s mom went to Western and coming to London became an option. Because she was looking for a big university feeling while still being part of something special, Huron ended up being the answer.
Growing up Natasha went every year to an all-girls summer camp where she lived some of the best memories of her life. It was always a place to be away from technology and a rapidly changing world, to be herself and reset before going back to her life. She made long-lasting friendships and even became a camp counsellor. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit she lost her summer job at the camp and had to rethink her plans for the year. Though it was a time of difficult transitions, she found a way to make it work. She got to spend time with her family and had the opportunity to work at Hill and Knowlton through the Huron. As a public relations intern she focused on keeping track of media, research and communications. She was able to utilize the adaptability, communications and collaboration skills she learned at camp to a professional environment.
I was really scared when it all started, my plans were no longer happening. I had to learn how to be more mindful and active in lock-down, how to focus on my well-being. The internship was an incredible opportunity. I learned many new skills and gained valuable work experience.
When I asked Natasha about what inspires her she talked about her family and cultural upbringing. Her mom was born in Sri Lanka and moved with her parents to Canada when she was young. She found herself having to assimilate to her new environment and letting go of her culture to protect herself. Natasha is now determined to connect with her mom’s background and explore that side of her identity. Her extended family has been involved in humanitarian work for years now and currently run a charity. A couple of years ago, Natasha had the opportunity to visit her family in Sri Lanka and work at their organization which allowed her to explore both her passion for gender equality and the connection to her culture. She has been able to channel these and other interests through her courses at the centre for Global Studies.
The rest of this year looks hopeful for Natasha. She wants to keep growing from her experiences and learning new ways of approaching life.
The Huron community is an exciting place to be at. It really feels like you are part of something special where you can be yourself and do what you are passionate about. That’s leadership with heart.