Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Eight students will spend this summer learning about social entrepreneurship, as part of a new program designed by Seven Oaks School Division and North Forge Technology Exchange.
Throughout July and August, the eight senior-years students will be immersed in a curriculum that explores the life of an entrepreneur, including starting a business, finance management, and goal-setting, as well as learning to use technology such as 3D printing, a heat press, and laser cutting.
"Two afternoons a week, they come here to work with North Forge to learn about what does it mean to take an idea or to sort of look at a problem — and maybe they’re noticing problems around our division or their communities … thinking about a solution, and then taking that to market," said Matt Henderson, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and programs at Seven Oaks School Division.
"Students learning how to use equipment like that will assist them with developing a physical product prototype, which is often very useful for starting a business," added Marney Stapley, vice-president of North Forge.
When asked about her ideas to improve the community, Emma Woodford, a Maples Met School graduate and program participant, said she would like to see Seven Oaks School Division host more camps for children.
In a couple of weeks program participants will visit the Ojibwe Language Camp at Riverbend Community School, to practise their leadership skills around children, which Woodford said she is most looking forward to.
"I really like the idea of having kids camps in the Seven Oaks School Division," Woodford said.
"I’ve been to a couple of camps growing up and it was fun to be able to be a part of those camps and learn different cultural teachings."
Garnet Chartrand, a West Kildonan Collegiate graduate, said he’d like to focus on finding community-tailored solutions for environmental issues, and "making small steps to better fit the people."
The program builds on a similar program called MICE, also known as the Met Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurship, which was developed by Maples Met School and launched in 2018. MICE was designed for youth who have a passion for creating startups.
Thanks to a grant from the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development, the students will also get paid for their participation. The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the number of student employment opportunities, Henderson said, so this project aims to compensate for that loss.
"So one of the things we wanted to do is to ensure that, yeah, kids are learning, but they’re also being trained, and that they’re being paid for that, and that learning is being acknowledged," Henderson said.
Though it’s the first time this program is being offered, Chartrand said he’d like to see the opportunity extended to more students in the future.
"I feel like more schools should offer this. It’s great, because kids can actually make a difference."
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