This weekend, as 38 family members (mostly from Newfoundland) gathered in celebration of my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, we announced the news that Noah will be attending Memorial University this coming September.
There were a few reasons for choosing the university but mostly, they have a fantastic 5 year co-op commerce program that will allow Noah to complete his degree with three work-terms under his belt. We’d been to an information session about Memorial University a few months ago…and honestly, it was the first session that had him feeling comfortable…like maybe it was a place where he could fit in and belong.
BONUS…St. John’s, for us, is FULL of family!
Immediately on telling the news at our family get together, my Aunt Marie began chatting with Noah about what she knew of the university and the commerce program in particular…turning to my Uncle Mike and asking, “What’s that program Andrew’s friends are in? Act…Act something or other?”
“You mean Enactus?” I chimed in.
“Yes, that’s it!” she said as she went on to tell Noah about the program…how student entrepreneurs research and create programs from beginning to end, then compete regionally, nationally and internationally showcasing their projects. My Aunt spoke of the number of fabulous kids they knew who’d participated in the program…representing the university in competitions around the country. Learning about the world around them…making a difference. She mentioned the projects they’ve been involved in since graduation…and how what they learned as being part of Enactus Memorial had made a huge difference in their lives as young entrepreneurs.
The thing is, I’d already researched the program and was well aware of the project that the 2016 Enactus Memorial team was involved in. In fact, I’d been asked by Capital One, sponsor of a financial literacy themed challenge in the Enactus regional and national competitions, to write about the students at MUN!
The Capital One Financial Education Challenge empowers Enactus teams to create projects that address the specific and unique financial education and/or financial inclusion needs and opportunities in their communities with the aim of improving livelihoods in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.
In other words…figure out what’s lacking in a community (because of lack of financial education and/or financial inclusion), then design a program that solves that need!
OK…there was a lot more to it as in they had to conduct a needs assessments and feasibility studies and figure out the financial end of things in order to make their program sustainable. But, what better challenge for a group of students than to turn REAL LIFE problems into SOLUTIONS! In the process of creating helpful programs, they’re learning how money works in the real world and how to deliver financial education to better the lives of others! Participation in the Capital One Financial Education Challenge and the Enactus program helps students to build their business skills, global outlook, financial skills, leadership ability, and sustainable practices…creating the leaders of tomorrow.
The 2016 Enactus Memorial Team should be INCREDIBLY PROUD of themselves…with a lot of work, they’ve created a product to grow produce in ANY community regardless of conditions or financial means. The students at the Newfoundland university looked at remote areas of Labrador…where weather is an issue but also, the cost of shipping in produce is exorbitant. From there, they created Project SucSeed. They partnered with the Engineering Faculty to create a hydroponic system made of recycled materials. Capital One then helped the team develop a microloan program to help communities purchase the hydroponic units. AND…Choices for Youth, a local charitable organization that helps with at-risk youth, builds the units and receives financial literacy training from Enactus Memorial…empowering these young people to take control of their lives. Everyone wins!
Check out the video with all of the details:
The Enactus Memorial team is one of the most successful Enactus teams in the country. They’ve won the national title seven times AND won the World Cup in 2008. In January, they were one of two university teams to be named 2016 Capital One Financial Education Challenge Regional Champions in Eastern Canada and they’ll move on to the national competition, taking place May 2-4 at the 2016 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Toronto, Ontario.
In a few months, my son will be heading to Memorial University to start his education in a new place…surrounded by new people and brand new experiences. I’m hoping he’ll look into the Enactus program…and learn the skills needed to be a financially responsible and a productive leader of tomorrow! Surrounded by a group of students…who really want to make a difference in this world.
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I’m an entrepreneur who’s constantly coming up with ideas and then turning those ideas into action…hoping to make a few dollars for myself while making a difference in someone’s life. I’m juggling parenting and business and constantly seeking to find the right balance to make it all work. The Enactus Memorial students are doing the same…helping community members, supporting themselves, discovering ways to balance school life, financial obligations and family through entrepreneurship.
Throw a little advice their way by answering this question in the comments, for a chance to be featured in a future post: What is the most important financial lesson you have learned, while trying to juggle work and family life?
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Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Capital One to help support Enactus Memorial. As always, the opinions in this post are my own.