Lambton College and Catholic School Board piloting entrepreneurship program

Colin Gowdy – Blackburn News Sarnia, Jan. 5, 2020

Enactus Lambton and the St. Clair Catholic School Board have teamed-up to inspire entrepreneurial action among local elementary students.

The One Future Program is an entrepreneurial leadership development program providing hands-on knowledge for students.

Through a series of workshops, students work to identify a need at the local or global level and then develop presentations to share what they’ve learned and their plan for change.

Program Coordinator Megan Rizzo said the program, which is five years in the making, starts with the Enactus team asking students “what bothers you?”

“What do you see in your community, at school and globally that bothers you, and how do you think we could make a change or be a part of leading an initiative, and then from there we have them work in groups and the teachers relay what they’re learning in the Enactus program into their own curriculum,” said Rizzo. “So the goal is that we’re developing leadership skills, we’re developing are social awareness, and it’s also giving them real world insight and helping them relate that back to their curriculum.”

The program is currently at five schools across the school board, St. Patrick’s High School, St. Michael , Holy Trinity, St. Joseph, and St. Elizabeth elementary schools.

Rizzo said the program is being piloted by about 175 students and there are plans to expand it — Enactus recently received $100,000 from RBC to support the project.

Rizzo said it will teach students the soft skills that will benefit them in the work life and everyday life.

“So making sure that they’re able to communicate effectively and that they understand the importance of completing things on time, and that they understand how to get up in front of a group even if it’s two peers and talk to each other,” she said. “So many teachers have said to us that students who never speak in class are the ones that are talking constantly, they’re sharing their thoughts and ideas, and it’s good to see because they’re benefiting from this.”

Weekly course work covers a variety of topics ranging from business planning and global citizenship to critical thinking and marketing strategies.

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student leaders to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business.

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