Actua Launches its #BuildBackConfidence Campaign

Press Release

Ottawa, ON - May 3, 2022

Actua today launched a #BuildBackConfidence campaign to raise awareness on the impacts of the pandemic on youth mental well-being and the power of STEM education in rebuilding a young person’s confidence in themselves and the world around them. 

“Actua is witnessing a growing and collective concern among educators and parents that many young people have experienced significant learning loss, lost confidence and motivation levels, and a general love of learning due to the pandemic,” says Jennifer Flanagan, CEO, Actua. “Actua’s #BuildBackConfidence campaign is looking to rebuild lost confidence levels, reignite youths’ passion for learning and recultivate their hopes for the future. “

A recent Actua-led survey found that over half of youth in Canada, aged 18-20, and almost a third of youth aged 12-17, are now less interested in school due to the pandemic, and approximately a quarter of all youth are not confident they will achieve their career goals when finished school.

As an organization that engages thousands of youth across Canada each year in STEM skills and confidence-building learning experiences, Actua’s #BuildBackConfidence campaign is built on the understanding that STEM has the power to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, and youth agree. From climate change to infectious disease, over 70% of Canadian youth believe the COVID-19 pandemic has made science and technology more important to the world. The campaign also recognizes that STEM education, which involves project-based activities that promote  empathy, problem-solving, collaboration and communication, has proven effective at building confidence levels among youth. 

As part of this campaign, Actua will increase its focus on building back the confidence of youth over the next year by:

  • building its network members’ capacity to identify and support youth at risk of mental health challenges and create safe spaces for these youth to thrive,
  • supporting educators and parents to foster supportive, confidence-building learning environments at home and in the classroom;
  • strengthening community partnerships to address COVID-19 impacts and barriers for youth from vulnerable communities; and
  • building new content into its existing programs that support youth in understanding the science behind mental health and the power of STEM in addressing current challenges.

Actua will also launch a social media awareness campaign and a series of confidence-building STEM tools and resources to be published and made available on

About Actua

Actua is Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach organization representing over 40 university and college-based members. Each year, Actua’s growing network of member organizations engage over 350,000 young Canadians in 500 communities nationwide in transformative STEM learning experiences that build critical skills and confidence. Actua focuses on engaging underrepresented youth through specialized programs for Indigenous youth, girls and young women, at-risk youth and youth living in Northern and remote communities. Its major funding partners include Government of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, RBC Foundation, Suncor Energy Foundation, Protein Industries Canada, TD Bank Group, Microsoft Canada, Finning Canada, Toyota Canada Foundation, Enbridge, NCR Foundation, Cargill, Imperial and Lockheed Martin Canada.

Contact Information

Katrina King
Director of Communications, Actua
111 Murray Street, Ottawa, ON, K1N 5M5
Tel: (613) 234-4137  Fax:( 613) 234-4779