Ava Canney

I am a first-year student from Derry, Northern Ireland, studying at Yale University in the United States. At Yale, I am a prospective chemical engineering major. Prior to university I studied A-Levels in Chemistry, Physics, Maths and History at St Mary’s College Derry. I decided to further my study in the US as I wanted to receive a liberal arts education, enriching my mind in subjects and extra-curriculars outside of engineering.

Throughout my secondary education I had a strong involvement in STEM. I attended science competitions which presented me with several unique experiences, including the Broadcom MASTERS award, awards at the Big Bang Competition, and making a documentary with Hasbro. These experiences have consolidated my interest in STEM and encouraged my excitement to collaborate with other people in the industry.

Throughout my journey I have been inspired by the people I met: at competitions; events; or the people I am meeting now at university. These intelligent and innovative people are blazing a trail in STEM and encourage me every day to live up to my full potential.

The community that has shaped me holds much of the credit for getting me to where I am today. My family has supported me through all my endeavours no matter how unreachable they may have seemed. A community which will always be close to my heart is that of St Mary’s College. The teachers and past pupils acted as my role models for pursuing a career in the engineering field. I was never led to believe that a woman could not be an engineer. Through the links between the technology department and industry at St Mary’s College I felt welcomed by the engineering and manufacturing community in the Northwest. Ultimately, I hope that one day I can bring my skills back to the Northwest and help to bridge the gap between the dreamers and the achievers like so many did for me.