About

Hey!

My name is Cecilia and I’m absolutely honoured that you came across my website. I hope you’re enjoying your stay!

I’m currently in second year of undergrad studying policy and global health. Social justice and increasing access to fundamental resources throughout the world are issues that I hold very dear to my heart. I’m also an avid hiker based in Vancouver, a bibliophile, and a dog lover!

Since 2012, I have had the wonderful opportunity to share stories especially my own through this platform. I am so fortunate to have supportive friends and family who have all had a role in shaping the person I am today and this website. Though my parents restarted their lives in Canada with humble beginnings and have worked very hard, I want to acknowledge the privilege I have in being able to pursue my passions especially the pursuit of empowering others through their difficulties and inspiring them to chase their dreams.

Writing and reading have always been a really big part of my life. They’ve allowed me to connect to beautiful stories and people, as well as developing a better understanding of the power of narratives. Narratives have the power to shape how we perceive this world and the relationships we form with one another. I hope the narratives that I share through this website will shine more light and positivity in the world that may seem bleak and hopeless at times.

Everybody has a story. A story that provides the reasons for why people do the things they do, while not providing justification. The most important things, however, is that everyone’s story is connected to those of those around them. We all have our sufferings, some more than others, but in the end, we are all part of a web. A connection of our stories and an understanding that threads it together. You and I? Well, our lives are colliding —

Credentials: Awards and Recognition

Some of my work and initiatives

 

Throughout the years of 2010 to 2011, I had experienced excessive bullying by a group of peers and then cyber-bullying from my best friend. As a twelve year old who had no major sense of self identity or a lot of self confidence to begin with, the perspective with which I viewed myself came tumbling down. I began to be my personal critic feeding into the negativity with which others were giving me. Due to very busy parents and a lack of a good support group, I struggled to cope with the terrible thoughts I would think of myself and I would constantly degrade who I was and who I could be. There were times when I lost my sense of purpose and felt no real reason to keep living. I also  knew I was a hard worker but I had trouble believing in myself to pursue opportunities; I started to agree when people thought less of me and began accepting their disrespect. 

Throughout it all, I was really fortunate to have my love for writing and painting give me a positive outlet of self expression and self love. Reflecting through writing and painting allowed me to stay grounded and have hope that things would be better. 2012 became a major turning point in my life. I had used to feel alienated and so alone, thinking in naivety that I was the only one having toxic perspectives of myself. However, when a peer of mine opened up to share her story of attempting suicide from being bullied due to her learning disabilities, I realized how important it was to be brave enough to share my stories and to be ready to support others who were suffering through their hardships. Being bullied made me realize how I would never want someone to have gone through the same emotional pain I went through. My peer became my friend and she catalyzed my courage to do something about bullying. I started this website: ajourney2success.com that year and started the conversation on bullying, personal obstacles, and dealing with mental health. Overtime, as I kept blogging and hoping to empower readers to tackle their challenges and believe that they could tackle those challenges, I knew I had to do something more.

I wanted to engage with people directly and share my passion for arts and empowerment with others. I also wanted to share the experience of how art changed my life and how it gave me the opportunity to believe in myself and to use that talent to help others. Especially within my city (Surrey, BC), there is a high level of youth involvement in gangs, crimes, and drug related problems. I saw youth, even my peers, who had difficulties (personal, family, mental health, etc) turn towards addiction or find validation through joining gangs. I wanted to create a safe space and provide opportunities for youth to tackle their obstacles in a healthy and positive way. Art2Heart just aims to empower youth to believe in their abilities in a time when they are growing and only starting to understand the world around them (which is a critical time of developing self worth and self respect). By giving them a place of comfort and support, they truly can be in a place to better help themselves in times of difficulty but also to have the courage and initiative to reach out to help others.