Our Mission

AI4Youth Canada is a Canadian federally registered nonprofit dedicated to connect high school students with professors and influential industry leaders in artificial intelligence across Canada and promoting AI related experiential learning opportunities.

Our Story

AI4Youth Canada is a non-profit student run organization based in Calgary, Alberta. It was founded by Claire Du and Gerry Lu in June 2018. Led by their strong passion for AI, Claire and Gerry ran a peer student survey about AI awareness, then founded Western Canada High School AI Club earlier, which was the first ever high school AI club in Canada. After seeing both the very limited AI learning resources, especially the experiential learning resources that accessible to high school students and the thirsty pressing demands from students, Claire and Gerry motivated to make efforts to change and founded AI4YOUTH CANADA, they hope to combine forces to create opportunities for their peers and see more Canadian youth become leaders, innovators and game changers in AI integrated future.

Meet The Team

Claire Du

Co-Founder

Western Canada High School

Claire is currently a Grade 12 student at Western Canada High School, Calgary, Alberta. Fascinated by robots since elementary school, Claire has been involved in the FIRST Robotics program as a team captain, programmer, and mentored a youth robotics team. By applying her knowledge, creativity, and problem solving abilities, she hopes to inspire many to think radically about making the world a better place with technology. Combining her experience as a national level rhythmic gymnast, she innovated a carpet lifting machine that solved a labor problem for her club. Recognizing the imperative need for AI learning and as a representative for the CBE Student Advisory Council, she proposed to integrate AI fundamental courses into high school curriculums. After starting her school AI club, she worked further with like-minded individuals and founded AI4Youth Canada to empower youth across the nation to proactively become change-makers in our AI-integrated world.

Gerry Lu

Co-Founder

Western Canada High School

Gerry is currently a Grade 12 student at Western Canada High School, Calgary, Alberta. Gerry has always loved to work with anything that evolves technology. Gerry hopes to reach out to all people and help to better the world using his talents and interests. These interests lead Gerry to publish a research paper about the future use of Artificial Intelligence in the Accounting and Law business sectors with the IEEE Student Forum and attending the Universal Village Conference at MIT where he presented on his paper. Gerry also joined First Robotics Team 4334, working on the programmer team, and build team, further he has volunteered as a Sunday School teacher since 2013 at the church he attends on a weekly basis. On top of academia, Gerry has always had a love of sports, mainly Basketball which he has played on a team for 6 years, and Baseball which he played for 3 years. After founding an AI club at Western Canada High School with Claire, he has made it a person mission to help all people regardless of any differences to have a understanding of the future role of technology and AI in order to improve lives everywhere and has perused this goal by founding AI4Youth Canada.

Nicholas Wilger

Regional Director

Webber Academy

Nicholas Wilger is currently a grade 12 student at Calgary's Webber Academy. He has always been fascinated by technology. Over time, the Gameboys and iPods of his childhood gave way to laptops and self-built desktop computers, but that immutable interest has remained. In the future, he sees the artificial intelligence and aerospace fields as the new drivers of growth; Nicholas wants to be part of that innovation. At school, he is an avid participant in a variety of clubs and extracurriculars. He is an award-winning "MUNer" and Debater, making it to Provincials Debate in his first year. He has been part of student government for four years, including being the incumbent Vice-President for grade 12. More in the STEM fields, Nicholas also participated in the STEM Fellowship's Big Data Challenge as well as in Science Fair, winning top monetary prizes in both. Going forward, he is excited to be part of the AI4Youth team, interacting with his peers across Canada in a field he is captivated by. 

Jonathan Zhou

Regional Director

Western Canada High School

Jonathan is a Grade 10 student at Calgary's Western Canada High School. From fiddling with Lego Mindstorm to competing in VEX Robotics Competitions, Jonathan was always interested in robotics and pursued what he did with passion. Jonathan was the team captain and lead programmer of his previous school's robotics team, team 6659C, and led them to compete in the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Furthermore, Jonathan's active participation of the robotics program has led him to found his own robotics team outside of school, team 210Y, allowing the opportunity to work on robotics full time. Robotics has opened the doors to not only an abundance of computer science knowledge and served as an outlet for creativity, but has also provided Jonathan the opportunity to expand his connections and to use his robotics skills to help others who are like him. Jon is looking forward to working with AI4Youth and expanding his horizons with robotics across Canada.

Iris Xu

Director of Marketing

Port Moody Secondary

Iris Xu is a grade 12 International Baccalaureate student at Port Moody Secondary in Port Moody, BC. From competing nationally in badminton, cooking up some edible masterpiece in the kitchen, to teaching kids on the ski hills, Iris can be found challenging herself in every way possible. Last year, she joined rookie FIRST Robotics team 7781 as a lead designer. Not only did she design a functional and reliable bot, she also taught herself to program with languages such as Java and Python along the way. Currently, Iris is using those skills to develop an android app for foodies like herself. Indeed, Iris has a passion for technology and wants to be part of the next “technological revolution”. For her, that starts with spreading awareness of all the endless possibilities AI has to offer. After meeting Claire at SHAD Waterloo (a month-long STEM camp) and realizing some common interests - AI and robots, Iris has been given the wonderful opportunity to work with an amazing team at AI4Youth, aiming to educate and empower youth to become AI leaders of the future.

 

Bonita Shao

Social Media Manager

Port Moody Secondary

Bonita Shao is a Grade 10 student attending Port Moody Secondary School. She is an avid participant and advocate for youth involvement in the technological and business world. She volunteers and helps run many youth-led nonprofit organizations. Outside of school, Bonita enjoys competing in business case competitions and public speaking. After finding out about the conference, she was determined to spread it amongst youth. Bonita finds technology imperative in daily life and believes that AI will be certain in the near future. Although she is currently in charge of social media, Bonita enjoys programming and has taught herself Python. At age six she began fiddling with robotics, and recently started working with Arduino. Bonita is excited to be able to take part and share her passion for AI and the AI4YOUTH conference.

Christopher Eng

Regional Director

Mount Douglas Secondary

Christopher Eng studied at Mount Douglas Secondary School. Designated gifted at a young age, he excelled in the school district gifted program yet recognized the lack of opportunities in his local school system; thus, he decided to create his own opportunities, self-studying for 6 AP exams, achieving countless perfect scores in US college entrants standardized exams (SAT and AP Subject Tests), winning a national mathematics and science competition, earning a gold medal for clarinet from the Royal Conservatory of Music, winning a school talent show, achieving his school's badminton team MVP, and founding three clubs in high school. From coaching youth basketball camps to volunteering at a senior's care home, Chris invests himself in a plethora of interests, utilizing his passion in each area to benefit those around him. After meeting Claire and Iris at SHAD and realizing a dire yet surmountable challenge in the lack of AI-education in Canada, Chris is dedicated to continuing the AI4Youth Canada mission, hoping to truly benefit more youth across Canada through provincial conferences in British Columbia. With this expansion, the opportunities for Canadian youth are truly endless; Chris is ecstatic to witness the monumental growth of both AI4Youth Canada and AI-education in Canada in the very near future.  

Lulu Zhang

Regional Director

Mount Douglas Secondary

As she enters her grade 12 year at Mount Douglas Secondary, Lulu is elated to join AI4Youth and looks forward to working with the team to help engage more youth into the fast-developing AI industry. Outside of AI4Youth, Lulu is drawn to a wide variety of extracurriculars to strengthen her belief for cultural diversity and global affairs. Having the honour to receive the School Service Award for the past three years, Lulu has been the head coordinator for the school Multicultural Day, 30-Hour Famine, and Pink Shirt Day as the Foreign Affairs Minister of Student Council. She has been the Victoria Chinatown Walking Tour Guide, the School Head of the registered non-profit Girls Can Talk Society, secretariate of school Model United Nations, school first-place debater for the World Scholar’s Cup 2018, and a cheerleader in her freshman and sophomore year. Lulu can also be found playing badminton, tutoring English Language Learners, completing her Royal Conservatory of Music piano ARCT exam, volunteering overseas at Tibetan elementary schools, and constantly visiting different restaurants to keep her food account up to date. By taking on these roles, Lulu is expanding her reverence by gathering students to work together and achieve efficacious things that could never be accomplished by herself; whether it is appreciating different cultures, fasting for 30 hours to fundraise for food security in Africa, standing up against bullying, or expanding her views and integrating more youth like herself into the prodigious and pivotal area of technology and AI that’s often being overlooked in our current secondary education.

Eric Gong

Regional Director

Westmount Charter

Eric Gong is a Grade 9 student at Westmount Charter School in Calgary, Alberta. From a young
age, Eric has always been fascinated by science and technology. He has been competing in the
First Lego League competition since Grade 4, and has since obtained numerous coding and
robotics accolades, including placing on the Honour Roll of the University of Waterloo Canadian
Coding Competition. Eric is passionate about sharing his expertise with others, which is why he
is the founder, team captain, and lead programmer of the team Legotronics, which won first
place in Calgary in 2017 and the Best Project Award in Edmonton in 2018. He is currently
coaching a robotics team at Westmount Charter School and an all-girl FLL team, Tech-No-Logic
Robotics, which won the Regional Championship Award and qualified for the 2020 FLL
International Open tournament in Brazil. Robotics aside, Eric is passionate about honing his
communication skills through public speaking and debate. He is a six-year Alberta gold medal
recipient from the RCM Speech Exam, and holds the Team Debate Championship from the 2019
World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions held at Yale University. Eric believes that in
the future, AI will be implemented in the medical field, and he hopes to be a part of that budding
world of innovation. He is excited to be working with AI4Youth, and is looking forward to
connecting with similarly passionate youth, as well as educating students across the country.

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