Dr. Eugenia Duodu is the CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning, a charitable organization that empowers youth from low-income communities through meaningful engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). A longtime community leader, she has an impressive track record in creating youth opportunities in over 40 low-income communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and is a finalist in the Social Change category of the 2020 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.
My first job ever was… concessions at the Skydome, now Rogers Centre.
I chose my career path because… my career path chose me. I never really knew what I wanted to be; I just knew what I wanted to do. I knew that I had to be a part of creating change for my community and it was this desire — along with my passion for science — that led me to where I am now.
When starting out, I wish I knew… that I didn’t have to have everything figured out in the beginning; there was a lot of pressure to have things sorted out early on.
The part of my role that I love the most is… being able to work with a group of incredible people and create meaningful change in the communities we serve. I love the fact that our strategies and conversations are actually making a difference!
The biggest challenge of running a not-for-profit is… the fact that you can’t address every issue that you encounter. We are in the business of making communities better and sometimes it can feel as though there is so much to be done to realize this goal. We have had to make tough decisions on what we should focus on and what kind of change we will hold ourselves accountable to.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I am quite introverted. As much as I love being around people, I really value and need time alone.
My best advice from a mentor was… never trade passion for a paycheque. Follow your passion and you will never work a day in your life.
My advice for anyone who wants to build a not-for-profit is… stay focused on your mission and take things one day at a time.
One thing for-profit businesses can learn from the not-for-profit world is… that purpose and mission matter!
I stay inspired by… my family, friends, community, and the work of our organization.
Success to me means… fulfilling your purpose