I’m exploring new ways to grow
Kwok Chu Tom Li wants to change the world with plants.
His affection for plant life is one that is deep-rooted: “It’s hard to explain how much I love plants,” says Li. “Even as a child, my mom would give me lots of toys to choose from but I always preferred to play in the mud.”
Li rekindled his passion for horticulture when a volunteer opportunity in the Buller Greenhouse was brought to his attention in his first year of Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Spending time in the greenhouse opened his eyes to the diversity of plants and the different possibilities for his education. “I volunteered under Prof. Carla Zelmer who encouraged me to follow my passion and to pursue my interests,” says Li who is now completing a degree in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences with a focus on agronomy.
Experiences with Community Service-Learning and the Rainbow Community Gardens on campus have encouraged Li to challenge himself, to set goals and to immerse himself in new things as a part of his education. “It was exciting to grow some of my own vegetables here in the community gardens. In Hong Kong I lived in a 12 story apartment and I could only grow vegetables at a plot. Now I can actually touch the soil and can share the harvest with others.”
By getting involved in student opportunities and programs and challenging himself to pursue his passion, Li found a way to follow his heart with his education. “When I graduate, I want to apply my full education – the knowledge I’ve gained and the experiences I’ve had – to help solve the world’s food and hunger problems, especially in developing countries.”
Visit umconnect.ca to learn more about our students’ experiences and explore our campus.