My goal is to create more education & entrepreneurship opportunities for women & minorities. An advocate for gender equality & women empowerment, I strive to promote beauty in diversity. Gender inequality & discrimination continue to be issues in our world today, and my beauty with a purpose project aims to help solve these problems with the 2 e’s: to educate & to empower.

Background…

I am a Visual Arts & Computer Science student at the University of British Columbia. Although both subjects work very different parts of my brain, the two have helped me grow creatively & logically. I have always been very passionate about the arts, where I have played both piano & violin to level 10 and level 8, respectively, for the Royal Conservatory of Music, and I have also extensively trained in various dance forms (Latin, Chinese, hip-hop, Kpop, ballet, & contemporary). I started sketching & painting in grade 5 and now I have taken an interest in graphic design, having some of my work printed on Victoria’s Secret PINK campus campaigns. I was introduced to Computer Science when I took a coding course in grade 12. In freshman year, my friends and I challenged ourselves through joining hackathons, which provided a platform where we could gain insight and develop skills from industry professionals in 24-hours, and it pushed us to think outside of the box. The best part about computer science projects is that they are highly collaborative. My team helped me discover my own strengths and weaknesses and pushed me to be the best. We get to not only individually explore different areas of interest, but also learn from our peers on how to use technology to better the lives of others. 

My VSPINK phone wallet design!
Official VSPINK photoshoot in Malibu, California.
My first ever hackathon – won first place at BizHacks 2017.

Recent Projects…

Right now, I take every opportunity to be a part of women empowerment organizations to help spread awareness & support more females & minorities in my community. I am a Logistics Coordinator for cmd-f*, the first & biggest all-female* 24 hour hackathon in Western Canada, where approximately 200 students come together to gain new skills, construct awesome projects, and find a community of like-minded individuals. We aim to shift the paradigm of a hacker by helping young women* build positive STEM identities, and we use * to specifically and intentionally include cis and trans women, as well as non-binary, agender, and intersex people. I am also the Vice President of Marketing for UBC Sororities, an organization that focuses on connecting female university leaders and providing them with the platform to grow. Every single UBC sorority chapter is values-based, which means that we work together to support our members in four tenets: service, leadership, scholarship, and social involvement. As a Victoria’s Secret PINK Campus Representative, I actively advocate for “girl power” on a day-to-day basis to encourage students to have faith & confidence in themselves. Having been selected as one of the top performing schools in Spring 2019 and as a model for an official VSPINK summer in-store campaign, I am blessed to have been given these incredible opportunities to further share my ideas on promoting inclusivity and motivating those around me to do the same.

Volunteering at cmd-f* 2019.
My campaign video on the VSPINK Bus!
2019 Spring VSPINK Campus Rep Incentive Trip at New York Headquarters.

If given the prize for beauty with a purpose, I would use the money to fund, locally & internationally, the two parts of my project: to educate & to empower. Locally, I would continue to work with female-centric organizations & philanthropy projects, such as volunteering with women-based clubs & events, and helping out with the local women’s shelter. This year I had the opportunity to lead a girl power meet-up on campus where over 16 clubs that supported women empowerment attended and facilitated a positive space for female university students to connect & network. I was also part of multiple campaigns to collect cans for the local food bank and to collect toiletries for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, where I was able to support those in need with small gestures of kindness. My goal is to launch a Canadian GRLBOSS conference where we could connect young women & minorities with female leaders in Canada, where we educate & provide the attendees with real industry skills when they enter into the workplace, and empower them to grow as they interact with other successful women in our country. 

The amazing clubs we collaborated with at our mini-GRLPWR meetup!
My power team that helped in running the event.

Internationally, I would use another portion of the money to fund more education opportunities for those who cannot afford to have them. Recently I helped in collecting donations to build a school and to fund school supplies for the children of war-stricken Marawi, Philippines, and I am determined to take part in more projects like this, where I can provide & teach useful skills & tools, whether it be entrepreneurship or technology, to support those who are not as privileged. Through the GRLBOSS conference, the proceeds made from the event will be donated to a cause to help educate and empower others in the world who are less-privileged. I am excited to use the GRLBOSS platform to raise more awareness and to inspire more people in lending a helping hand to others. 

The wonderful children who I helped support! They were very kind to make signs and sent me this heart-warming picture!

Ending Thoughts…

Winning the project would help in funding the efforts to educate & to empower, and I am thrilled to have been given the Miss World Canada platform to share my dreams & goals.

Best,

Ariel Cao

Written by: Ariel
Posted On: Categories:Miss World Canada

Comments are closed.