The desire to learn and discover new things is in Izabo’s DNA. Born in Mission, British Columbia in 1990, this med student is the daughter of two teachers, who taught in French and French-immersion schools in Surrey and White Rock. Izabo attended elementary and high school in the border region to the south of the province. After completing her Bachelor of Cognitive Science degree at McGill University and a Master’s in speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto, she is pursuing her studies at the University of Ottawa. The university’s bilingual environment has introduced her to a cohort of Francophone students from Anglophone provinces and she enjoys the camaraderie with her Francophone friends from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Evolving in a university environment that fosters academic, personal and social growth, she appreciates the patient-centric approach being taught, where the multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers and counsellors work together.
Izabo, who already has a hundred volunteer hours in the healthcare sector under her belt, observes that Canadians can sometimes overlook the privilege of having access to high-quality health services for free, regardless of income. She is well aware of the benefits of being Canadian. Having grown up alongside immigrants in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods and having travelled frequently to Europe and Asia, she has strong opinions on what it means to be a good citizen. It includes altruistic acts, helping others, being respectful and open-minded, welcoming minorities and other cultures, giving back to those in need, being grateful for our quality life and the services we receive. However, a positive view of our living conditions should not prevent us from recognizing the changes needed around us. Discrimination and racism still exist in everyday life. The daughter of a Quebecois father and French (from France) mother has experienced the difficulty of asserting her French identity in Anglophone schools. This lack of tolerance for people from other cultures exists everywhere, including France where she spent many happy moments with her mother’s family.
This determined and brave young woman has plans to participate in more fundraising initiatives when her schedule allows. She has already taken part in campaigns to fight breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.
An avid traveller and cooking enthusiast, Izabo wants to continue exploring Canada. She is toying with the idea of a West Coast road trip or a tour of the Atlantic provinces to discover the local hospitality. If not, exotic destinations like India, Peru, China or Thailand are distinct possibilities. It won’t be long before we see the friendly Dr. Deschênes in one of the country’s French-speaking clinics. By then, she will likely have had the time to return to playing the piano and exploring the repertoire of the great Romantic composers.