Athena Yaoutsis (Class of 2014)
Athena Yaoutsis truly understands how to “grow” her success—and she learned by studying plants. As a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia with a BS in Applied Plant and Soil Sciences, she learned how the right combination of external conditions can bear more fruit—or in this case, more opportunities.
But it wasn’t an easy start—until she began attending Hudson in Grade 10.
“I’d been attending another school—an arts school, in fact,” she remembers. “But I realized it just wasn’t offering the education I’d been hoping for. I felt I wasn’t learning a lot in my classes, and the math and physics courses were not as challenging. I wanted to go somewhere where I felt I could be a little more productive…and Hudson was definitely that place.”
Athena would be the first to admit she truly “blossomed” at Hudson, especially because she was encouraged all along by her supportive teachers to be confident and pursue what she wanted to study.
“Hudson really fostered my love for math and science, especially my math teacher. He kept encouraging me to practice and move ahead…he said, ‘you can do this…there are not a lot of women pursuing the STEM field, you’ve got this.’ I really remember that especially. It made me feel much more confident.”
Throughout Grades 11 and 12, Athena played on the basketball team and recalls how Hudson teachers were supportive of students—even outside of academics.
“Hudson had a very caring environment, I still remember our basketball coach, saying to us: ‘you’re leaders and you’re strong!’ I think playing basketball helped me grow as person…it helped us believe in ourselves.”
After graduating, Athena went on to university, and she credits Hudson for giving her the self-assurance to take on her studies with an open-mind and a focused sense of purpose.
“I knew what I wanted to study, and I charted my course,” she says. “I took geographic information classes, which involved mapping and coding where resources can be located, and that led me to data science, which I came back to study in Toronto recently.”
With her plant and data science knowledge in tow, Athena has enrolled in the Canadian Coast Guard to become a part of the marine engineering program. And since math and physics were subjects that she actively pursued at Hudson, she feels more than ready to start her new career with feet “planted” firmly on the ground…or, more accurately, aboard a ship at sea!