Simei (Amy) Li

Award Category: 
Youth Scholarships Award
Recipient Year: 
2014

At 10 years of age, Simei (Amy) Li immigrated to Canada with her parents from China.  After seeing her grandfather struggle with Parkinson’s disease, she became interested in studying how diseases manifest in the healthy brain. Since doing her first research project in high school she has received four scholarships to continue her neuroscience studies at the University of Calgary, where she is currently a second-year student with a top GPA.  In 2013, Amy worked with a postdoctoral researcher at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary, studying how stress contributes to neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to Amy’s academic achievements she has a passion for helping others, first volunteering as a ConnecTeen volunteer at Distress Centre Calgary.  She then founded the Distress Centre on Campus Club at her university and created awareness events such as the Outrun the Stigma – the first run of its kind in western Canada. Amy has since been invited to speak at the 2014 Canadian Conference of Student Leadership and has co-founded the Brain2Brain initiative to inspire greater interest in the field of neuroscience.  Through this initiative Amy has formed partnerships with organizations like Family Place, Between Friends Club of Calgary, and Calgary Public Library.  As someone who had to adapt to life in a foreign country, Amy learned the importance of taking steps outside of her comfort zone, which has given her the courage to follow her passion and initiate support issues she feels strongly about.