In Conversation with the CEO

Dr. Eugenia Duodu, Executive Director and CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning was recently invited to speak at a TEDxYouth event in Toronto. In her talk, she shares her journey of becoming "an unlikely scientist", what it was like growing up with few role models that looked like her and the crippling imposter syndrome that accompanied being underrepresented in the field of STEM.

“You’re a scientist? You don’t look like one!”

It was really hard to see myself as a scientist without having any representative role models to look up to or hear from. As I mentioned, I really enjoyed science but I didn’t have any point of reference to encourage my future participation. None of the traditional stereotypes of scientists fit in with who I was- a black woman (then girl) growing up in a low-income community. I definitely didn’t fit in with the common narrative, but I believe this is slowly changing.

What does it mean to you to be a black woman in STEM?

Being a black woman in STEM means many things to me. I love the fact that I get to bring my unique perspectives and experience to the field and make meaningful contributions. I am also highly aware of the various complexities that come with the intersectionality of my race and gender. Overall, what matters to me most is allowing myself to be seen so that I can be the representative role model that I never had but so desperately needed. I love being able to elevate the people around me in this way, it’s truly an honour.

What ultimately drew you to wanting to lead Visions of Science?

I could write an essay on this but I’ll keep it brief. The fundamental concept behind the work of Visions of Science was always a lofty goal for me growing up. As I became more engaged in STEM and received access to opportunities, the community-centered part of me always wondered how this might be extended to the people around me. I never really knew how it would happen but I knew that it needed to and that the work needed to come from within the community. I struggled with feeling empowered to even lead something like this because I was still navigating the system as a low-income youth myself. When I started with VoS and the opportunity came for me to lead it I really felt encouraged to continue because of the youth that we worked with and the team that we had. It was the undeniable potential in every facet of the organization what made me really know I had to be a part of it.

What do you want youth that participate in VoS programs to take away from their time here?

I want youth that participate in our programs to feel empowered to participate and succeed in any area that they decide to pursue. For me, empowerment isn’t only a term, it is intentional support that facilitates meaningful change. I want our youth to know that they can succeed and have the consistent support and access to do so. I also want our youth to be empowered to create solutions to address issues that they see affecting their community and the people around them. Our youth are full of great ideas, therefore they should have the space and confidence to put them into practice. I think it’s super cool that STEM learning can facilitate this kind of critical thinking and exploration and I want them to see that.

Watch Dr. Eugenia Duodu's TEDx Talk: 

2016/17 Annual Report!

We're kicking off the new year with our 2016/17 Annual Report! It has been an incredible year of growth at Visions of Science- over the last year, we launched a brand new youth program, published our very first article in a high-impact academic journal, and expanded our reach to new communities. A special thank you to our incredible partners and funders for supporting us and being a part of our growth! Thank you as well to our staff and volunteer teams for a great year!

Read the full 2016/17 Annual Report


STEM Community Leaders!

On July 11 2017, we launched our brand new STEM Community Leaders (SCL) program. The three year pilot program aims to extend the experience of the Community STEM Clubs program by engaging target youth in grades 8 to 12 in immersive STEM learning, leadership development, and community engagement.

We kicked off a 7-week summer term with 19 youth from 9 of our target communities- many of whom were past STEM club participants. Youth participated in engaging talks and workshops including:

  • Hands- on experiences at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Apple Canada, and the Inventorium at the Ontario Science Centre

  • A two-day immersion camp at The University of Toronto Mississauga

  • A two-week internship (The Harriet Brooks Internship) at Ryerson University

  • The Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program at UofT Engineering

  • Workshops at The Dunlap Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics as well as the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at The University of Toronto

Throughout the whole experience, the participants grew as leaders, developed long-lasting relationships, learned a lot about STEM fields and careers, and had an incredible time doing it! For the fall term, our leaders will be back in the Community STEM Clubs as Youth Facilitators- we can’t wait to see them in action!

More information about the STEM Community Leaders program will be coming soon.

A special thanks to all our partners who made this summer possible!

Note: there is not an open application process for this program at this time.


On March 18, 2017, over 100 youth from 9 of our Community STEM Clubs visited the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) to gain a first hand look at what science looks like at a university and its application to the real world. Participants travelled across the campus and engaged in hands-on workshops held by UTM faculty and students, including working with fossils and insects. Thank you UTM and we look forward to being back next year!

Visionary Expo 2017: The Ontario Science Centre

On April 29th, 2017 we celebrated our 5th annual year end event- The Visionary Expo at the Ontario Science Centre! This year, the event brought together over 350 youth and volunteers from 19 Community STEM Clubs across the GTHA for a celebration STEM learning!

The opening presentation was hosted by the CEO of the Ontario Science Centre, Dr. Maurice Bitran and this year the youth had the opportunity to listen to a keynote speech from Canadian Astronaut Dr. Dave Williams! Following the speech, the youth had a lot of burning questions that were answered during a riveting Q and A session- it could have lasted all day!

The main event showcased various presentations on STEM-based modules that clubs prepared and delivered to their peers, guests, and community members. Their presentations reflected their hard work and dedicated and five clubs took home top category prizes. A special thank you to our amazing judges who had the tough task of narrowing down the final winners. In the end, all participants walked away with the success of completing another great year of STEM clubs! A HUGE thank you to our dedicated staff and volunteer facilitators who give their time every week to providing this programming - Thank you!

Finally, a big thank you to the Ontario Science Centre for being incredible hosts of this event; we greatly appreciate your support! Thank you to our key event sponsors Entripy Custom Clothing, Pizza Pizza and Toronto Community Housing! As we close the program year for Community STEM Clubs, we look forward to another great year of programming ahead!

Visionary Gala 2017

On March 31st, 2017, we hosted our second annual fundraising gala at the Crystal Fountain Banquet Hall, and through the support of over 250 attendees and our sponsors, we raised over $6000 to go towards our organization and initiatives!

Britta B, our MC for the evening, kept everyone engaged for the whole night with her energy and enthusiasm! We greatly appreciate the Minister of Education, Mitzie Hunter, for attending and delivering a passionate and inspirational speech about the importance of education and the new opportunities that await our youth. The students from our Community STEM Clubs also attended and passionately articulated their experiences within the program. Thank you to the wonderful artists who shared their talents through their captivating performances throughout the night.

We want to extend a huge thank you to our platinum sponsor - Ryerson University Faculty of Science, our gold sponsors - Meridian Credit Union and Elizabeth Hurly of Perreira Hurly Wealth Advisory, and our in-kind donors for their support!

The evening was a huge success thanks to all the donors, attendees, and to Chivaun Payne and the planning committee for making the evening possible! We look forward to next year!

CBC Feature: HERstory in Black

Our CEO, Eugenia Duodu was featured in HERstory in Black and honoured amongst 150 Black Canadian Women who have made notable achievements in their field and in the community! Eugenia's story was highlighted as well as her work in leading our organization. Take a look at the article and videos! 

Read the CBC News article and watch the video here.

 Eugenia Duodu is the CEO of Visions of Science. (Leilah Dhore)

Eugenia Duodu is the CEO of Visions of Science. (Leilah Dhore)

Watch the feature from CBC's The National!

Inspiring stories from Anayah Phares (0.00) and Eugenia Duodu (3.25)

2016 Year End Event Celebration

On April 30, 2016 inside Ryerson University's Sear's Atrium, we held our 4th annual year end event celebration. All 14 of our science clubs from across the GTHA and our STEM Design Project participants (ArtReach Toronto) gathered together to showcase their work to parents, community supporters and partners.

The celebration started off with an announcement of funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to support our community STEM clubs. Thank you to Minister Mitzie Hunter for sending her greetings!

Our incredible keynote speaker, Dan Riskin of Discovery Channel's Daily Planet, inspired all participants, volunteers and guests alike through sharing his journey with science discovery and his research on bats! He left everyone with a special message to "stay curious" with a renewed ambition to continue to do so!

The day was also full of recognition of the hard work that our community partners and volunteers have put into supporting our organization. The continued support from Ryerson University- Faculty of Science and Toronto Community Housing was recognized along with that of the most valuable volunteers from the last science club semester. A special thank you to TREC Education for delivering a workshop!

Overall, we had a great day to wrap up a great year and next year will be even better! Stay Tuned! #Onwardsandupwards 

Our first Fundraising Gala was a huge success!

On February 26, 2016 at the beautiful Crystal Fountain Banquet Hall we held our very first fundraising gala! We had 243 people in attendance and raised over $5000 in funds to go towards supports our programs and initiatives!

Jason Kandenkary (principal at Nelson Mandela Park Public School) and a student, Latisha were our MCs and did a fantastic job guiding the night. We greatly appreciated the support of the Mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti who gave a speech on the importance of our programs in the community. Our very own Eugenia Duodu gave the keynote address with some students from our science clubs program- it was an inspiring night!

 A thank you to the amazing performers and artists who shared their talents and to our event sponsors who gave their support.  Also, a HUGE thank you to Chivaun Payne and our event planning committee who made this night a great success! We can't wait for next year!

2016 Fundraising Gala