Age: 21 (August 5, 2000)
School: Westwood Community High School Graduate for Class of 2020
Future Goal: To become a Linux system engineer
Written by Dew Bhamik, MACOY
From fleeing Syria due to civil war to living in refugee camps in Jordan to arriving as a refugee in a completely new country with a completely new language and culture, Diyaa Alkanakre has experienced his fair share of challenges at a young age.
A passion for computer networking and information technology, along with unmatched resilience, has allowed Diyaa to overcome obstacles and experience a truly inspiring success story.
“It’s important to give your fullest effort because you never know if you’re good at something unless you truly try.” — Diyaa Alkanakre
Once immigrating to Canada with little English knowledge, Diyaa quickly acquainted with a couple of teachers at Westwood Community High School. Here, he gained the guidance to take all of his necessary classes starting from scratch.
Once settled in, Diyaa enrolled in various computer science electives and spent much of his free time sitting in the computer science room tinkering away at his next project.
Within only a few months, Diyaa was able to land his first information technology internship at Keyano College, where he further developed his passion for technology.
Diyaa now utilizes this passion by giving back to the community by moderating an online community of technology enthusiasts (fortmactech.com), in which he shares his knowledge with others.
He is also assisting in creating the local makerspace, Startup YMM, so that he can build a community of innovators and provide them with the resources that they need.
Despite his challenging past, Diyaa’s passion for learning difficult concepts in great depth, along with his persistence, has allowed him to quickly complete a variety of challenging high school courses and eventually graduate in 2020, winning the Westwood Community High School Diligence Award.
Diyaa is very grateful for the considerable support he has received from our community and looks forward to pursuing his passion for technology next year at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
In regards to inspiring others to reach their goals, Diyaa said failure is a part of the learning process for success.
“Keep doing what you are passionate about to the best of your abilities, even if you fail because I learned that failure is just another step to success. And the more you fail, the more experienced you become in knowing how to fix issues that you have faced in your journey to success!”