Not all superheroes wear capes

CNA student turns ADHD diagnosis into innovation and invention

6/8/2022 9:48:20 AM

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Allie Lynch can attest that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Lynch is a first-year student enrolled in College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Mechanical Engineering Technology (Manufacturing) Co-op three-year program at Ridge Road campus in St. John’s. She recently received two major awards – the Husky Energy White Rose Extension Project Diversity Scholarship and the 2022 Senior Women’s Academic Administrators of Canada (SWACC) award.
Allie Lynch is currently enrolled in CNA’s Mechanical Engineering Technology (Manufacturing) Co-op program at Ridge Road campus. The volunteer and inventor was recently awarded the Husky Energy White Rose Extension Project Diversity Scholarship and 2022 Student Leadership Award with SWACC (Senior Women’s Academic Administrators of Canada).

Valued at more than $1,250, the scholarship is given to students who belong to underrepresented groups. Lynch said she applied for the scholarship because she felt she fit the criteria well.

“When I read the description, I really felt like it was well-suited to my specific set of skills and talents, even if it took me 31 years to realize it!” she exclaimed.

The second award, valued at $4,000, is given to students who show strong leadership skills and have exemplary marks.  

Before attending CNA, Lynch’s career was on a slightly different, yet rewarding, path. She was a Personal Care attendant (PCA) and a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and most recently, she added inventor to her resume.

Innovative ideas
Lynch invented the Splinted Compression Bandage after working with a client one day.

“I was working as an LPN doing wound care for one of the residents, who was not cognitively well, and they would move their foot while I was trying to apply the dressing. I thought to myself: ‘I wish I had a bandage that could keep their foot stable, while I'm applying the dressing.’ “

Once home, Lynch set to work. After some deep thinking and concept sketches, she had her first invention idea – a one-piece wrappable splint that can be self-applied.

It was her invention she says that played a large role in her landing her current role as Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) with the Dymond Group of Companies.

“I got noticed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a veteran-owned cybersecurity, emerging tech, and aerospace company,” recalled Lynch. “He loved my idea and wanted to help me bring it to the market! He was also personally very invested in my vision of hopefully helping defense personnel while they are out in the field, with a one-piece splint solution.”

She said it was that encouragement that led her to bringing her patent to market.

“He encouraged me to try to produce other invention ideas and concepts,” she said. “After working together for about two years, he decided that he wanted me on the board of directors and now I am the CIO. I currently have 102 ideas that our amazingly diverse team is hoping to get patented over the next few years.”

Despite her current success, it hasn’t always been an easy road. In September 2021, Lynch was diagnosed with Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) after experiencing a myriad of symptoms.

“I had different organizational methods, a tendency to interrupt others when getting passionate about topics, daydreaming, random and uncontrollable instances of hyperfocus, forgetting simple tasks that had just been discussed and consistently feeling like I was behind everyone else and missing key points,” she said, adding that over time, and with proper treatment, she has learned to see ADHD as something positive.

“I now understand that ADHD is a gift, my superpower,” she noted. “It allows me to make connections and linkages that others may not, and to be able to hyperfocus on something to really understand how it works. Daydreaming is an important skill for creativity and innovation.”

Lynch says even her employer is looking for ways to improve the lives of those living with ADHD.

“Since this diagnosis, my team and I at Dymond have been researching neuro-divergency and conceptualizing tools that could help some people in their daily lives, and learn to interact with, and enjoy their ‘superpowers’ – to use them to their advantage!”

When she is not working or in class, Lynch says she is also a peer tutor for math and chemistry and an active volunteer with survivors of sexual assault and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

For more information about Mechanical Engineering Technology (Manufacturing) Co-op and other CNA programs, visit

Media contact:
Ryanne McIsaac
Content Specialist
College of the North Atlantic