One of my greatest joys is that through choices I’ve made, I now have the opportunity to empower others to do amazing things while impacting and transforming lives.
What a rush!
Yesterday, the Enactus NSCC Pictou team won the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge and were runners-up of the Scotiabank Eco-Living Challenge at the Enactus Canada (Atlantic) Regional Competition.
To say we were shocked would be an understatement.
We believe that the projects we are doing are making a positive impact, but we are still a new team (18 months old) and were competing against 13 other really amazing projects from other post-secondary institutions.
When the winners for the Scotiabank Eco-Living challenge were being read, and we heard, “runner-up: Nova Scotia Community College, Pictou Campus” we looked at one another and screamed… and hugged… and cried! What? It was unbelievable!
We had our photos taken and then returned to our seats, still shaking our heads in disbelief, when we heard that our colleagues, NSCC Waterfront Campus had won the category!! We were so thrilled for them and the adrenaline was flowing.
The next category being announced was the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Regional Challenge. The second runners-up and first runners-up were announced, and then we heard words along the lines of, “I don’t even need the envelope for this one. They are not going to be expecting this, but they are a very special group: Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge Regional Champion is Nova Scotia Community College, Pictou Campus”!
Even I got teary at that. We were crying… and laughing… and screaming… and hugging in disbelief. We went on stage as a group and accepted our award. What an absolutely amazing feeling!
The power, energy, happiness, and adrenaline that you feel in the moment is indescribable unless you’ve experienced it. These awards are validation that the work we are doing is making a positive impact.
Enactus Canada is part of a worldwide organization partnering post-secondary students with community to enable progress in a sustainable way through entrepreneurial activities.
We presented three of our projects in four categories: “Raising the Roots”, a partnership with the youth homeless shelter in our area; Creating A $olution for Her (CA$H), a series of financial education workshops we’ve been offering to women at our campus; and “Delightful Dining” a brand new partnership with Summer Street Industries, working with their clients who have an intellectual disability label to prepare and deliver heathy homemade food to seniors in our area.
The accolades are fantastic, but the projects we are doing are what is important. Through our partnerships, we are not only transforming the lives of our own students, but also the lives of those in our community who are impacted through our projects.
I am so proud of our team (we have other active members who did not join us at the Regional Exposition) and am so excited that this is just the beginning. For eight out of ten students, this is their first year with the team, so had no idea what to expect, but they shone! My goal is to take all ten of our presenters to the National competition in Vancouver in May, so hopefully our fundraising efforts will allow that. We are fortunate to have supportive administration both at the campus level and at the college level.
By being a member of Enactus, the learners involved get a much richer post-secondary educational experience. They build friendships and networks, and learn to push themselves outside of their comfort zones. They learn organization, time-management, report writing, critical thinking, networking, creativity, emotional intelligence, and presentation skills. They become inspired by being part of a global organization of people trying to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Of the ten students who attended Regionals, we had students representing Business, Social Services, and Practical Nursing. One student approached me and said, “I am so happy I joined this team because I would never have had the opportunity to get to know all of you otherwise.” Another student told me, “It’s not what I learned in the classroom that I’m going to remember looking back, it’s moments like these.”
“When you invest in Enactus, you invest in a better world for us all.”