Angelica Lai’s life story began in an orphanage in China. Born Su Xiangmei, she was adopted by her devoted single mother, Frankie Eng, at the age of 18 months prior to moving to Calgary. Frankie and Angelica spent six wonderful years together in Calgary with a large extended Eng family. Tragically, when Angelica was seven years old, Frankie became ill with cancer and died within six weeks of diagnosis.
Angelica moved in with her aunt, uncle and eight-year-old cousin, who adopted her within the year. Angelica remained at the Menno Simons Christian School where she had been enrolled, until she graduated in Grade 9. She described her experience in a video that was to describe a significant event in the student’s life for a Grade 9 Language Arts project. With her use of emotion and humour in the video, there was not a dry eye in the audience and she received a mark of 100% for her work.
In order to pursue her interest and passion for science and technology, Angelica chose to attend Ernest Manning High School for its new pre-engineering program. She was very interested in the dynamic, innovative program that provides students with practical hands-on experience in interactive technical lab environments complemented by online simulations.
With the support of Angelica’s loving extended family and the nurturing from her schools, she has progressed through life with resilience, an outstanding personality, and wonderful characteristics.