As an educator, I firmly believe that much of the significant learning that happens for students happens outside of the classroom; that when learners get involved in their school and community, their educational experience is that much richer.
This month I, along with my academic chair, was privileged to accompany ten of our learners from three different programs to participate in the Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver, British Columbia. What a learning experience it was – for all of us!
“Annually, the Enactus Canada National Exposition brings together student, academic and industry leaders from across the country to celebrate the achievements of Canada’s future leaders and entrepreneurs. Over the course of the three-day event, students showcase how their community outreach projects and business ventures are enabling progress through entrepreneurial action. Through rounds of live, presentation-based competition, business leaders serving as judges determine which Enactus team and student entrepreneur will be named National Champions and represent Canada on the global stage.
The competitive process, along with additional programming, provides an opportunity for collaboration and best-practice sharing, fosters innovation, encourages results and rewards excellence in entrepreneurial, community leadership.” (Enactus Canada)
We had originally told our team of approximately 20 students that we would be holding auditions to go to Vancouver, as it would be so expensive to get there and we only could afford to take five. However, when our still-new team was named Regional Champion of the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge in March, Jim & I were determined to get all ten of our presenters from regionals to the national exposition – and we did!
The experience was amazing. To be surrounded by hundreds of student leaders, educators, and community who are all working together to make the world a better place through innovation and entrepreneurship? Inspiring… Energizing… Empowering…
I had the privilege of watching one student’s face as we started to taxi for take-off on her first time on an airplane; I can’t put that experience into words.
It was an exhausting and exhilarating week, filled with practice and performance; networking and team-building. In addition to spending most of our time at the conference or practicing, we also made time for sight-seeing, pool & hot tub time, shopping, and celebration. Sleep was in short supply while we were there, but it was worth it.
We won a “Spirit of Enactus” award for our National presentation, and cheered for Enactus NSCC Truro when they won one too. We screamed with joy when Rebecca Dunphy, president of Enactus NSCC Waterfront, won Student Leader of the Year for the country. We recognize that a win for any of our teams is a win for all of us.
There were other opportunities for individuals during the expo: Jim & I attended a faculty advisor session on the first day where we learned from the other faculty advisors from across the country; Kelyn attended the HR forum; Beth was onstage with the Nova Scotian flag during opening ceremonies; Nicole & Jim attended the executive forum; I attended the HSBC Women’s Leadership forum (a highlight of the week for me); and Holly & Emma stayed an extra two days to attend the Unilever Leadership Summit in Squamish.
We were able to record each of our presentations, both of which we are so proud of.
Bethany, Holly, Emma, Hailey, and Kelyn present the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge, outlining our “Raising the Roots” project. It is an honour to think that we were among the top seven teams of 51 in the country who competed in this challenge.
Maddie, Samantha, Sydney, Jennifer, Nicole, and Hailey present our National Competition presentation, outlining our three projects and two events undertaken this year. We won a Spirit of Enactus award for this presentation:
The students were all asked to send testimonials about their experience, with permission for me to share. I am humbled when I read them, realizing just how impactful this experience really is for them. When they look back on their time at NSCC Pictou, it is these experiences, connections, and their personal growth that I hope they will remember.
(Note: testimonials are also being complied into a report about our year and our impact, which will be sent to our supporters.)
Enactus NSCC Pictou on presentation day
“To me, Enactus is an opportunity for individuals to showcase their strengths through empowerment and to build upon existing communities to make them the best places for everyone, regardless of the circumstances. Enactus is a way for students from various educational disciplines to come together and influence one another to build sustainable projects that will help vulnerable populations strive for excellence. This organization allows me to act on my desire to aid others in being the best versions of themselves while also building a strong team of leaders to change the community we live in for the better. By helping people who surround us each day, we are changing the lives of those individuals, while also directly impacting ourselves to continue our efforts for meaningful change. To me, Enactus is a way I get to positively represent those in my community and help them to show the world their incredible potential.
Last week, our team had the pleasure of attending the Enactus Canada National Exposition, where we prepared a presentation describing the projects we had been working on this past year, while also depicting the impact we had on everyone we got to work with. While being in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, our team had the opportunity to validate our strengths and work toward improving our weaknesses. We had the chance to share with Canada all of the incredible partnerships we have made within our community to help at risk youth, individuals with intellectual disability labels, as well as seniors. Our team had the opportunity to showcase all of the hard work we have put into improving the lives of members within our community. The truth is, it isn’t always an easy task to work in a team, especially when there are multiple ideas of how to best improve the lives of those you are so passionate about helping. This past year has been stressful, slightly overwhelming and some days tiring, but I wouldn’t change anything about how our projects came together or the amazing people I got to share these incredible experiences with. Having the chance to go to British Columbia this past week showed me all of the things I am proud my team has accomplished and has given me much more drive to make this upcoming year the best one yet.
As incoming President for our campus’ Enactus team, I can not wait to partner with my Vice President of Finance, Holly, to lead our team toward excellence and make the biggest impact within our community that our neighbours, business leaders and supporters have seen yet. 2017-2018 is Enactus Pictou’s year! ” ~Emma
Enactus NSCC Pictou after our presentations
“What an amazing opportunity it was to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia for Enactus Nationals. As a first year student your really don’t fully understand how much bigger Enactus really is when you go from your small first full year team to the teams your compete against at nationals. How crazy is it that we had the chance to change people’s lives by creating projects and career for people that need it. The amount of opportunities and the experiences Enactus NSCC Pictou has giving me is so much more than I could have thought I would have gain in my first year at NSCC Pictou. The amount of awesome support from our campus and our community is wonderful. I am so proud to be part of something that is is creating a better future for us.” ~Hailey
The view of Vancouver from our hotel
Posing outside Canada Place
Opening keynote, Donna Morton – amazing!
Celebrating with Waterfront after presentations were finished
Celebrating with Waterfront after presentations were finished
Waiting to watch the finals
Luella and Rebecca, Student Leader of the Year
Faculty Advisors: Shari & Chasity (Truro); Anne & Jim (Pictou); Luella & Neil (Waterfront)
“What a year this has been for the Enactus team! With our team growing from a small group of six to impressive group of 20 people!
This year has been yet again, another success for us, from winning a championship title in our regional competition in Halifax to getting to walk across the stage again in Vancouver to accept our Spirit Award for 2017!
This is my final year being a member of the Enactus team, and I have been witness to so much growth personally, as well as seeing it in others on the team.
I know that the president title is going into capable hands. I am excited to learn what the team with go next year, with the continuations of current projects and the ideas of new projects!
Enactus has definitely impacted my time at NSCC positively; the skills I have learned while being part of this organization are skills that I will use daily. I appreciate all the support that our team has received over the years: from NSCC Foundation, the NSCC Entrepreneurship team, the staff and faculty at the college and all of our business advisors. We couldn’t have done it without you all!” ~Nicole
The three NSCC Enactus teams: Waterfront, Truro, and Pictou
“There’s a special feeling you get when you look into someone’s eyes knowing you’ve helped them, that sends chills throughout your entire body. Being involved in Enactus gives you that feeling over and over again. It’s an extremely humbling organization to be involved in, and is constantly reminding you how lucky you are. We’re not just doing one good thing for someone and leaving it be, we’re continuously changing people’s lives for the better. Even though we’re young students we are leaders, and we prove that every day.
Vancouver was a great experience, there’s nothing like travelling to bring a team closer together. I found we really worked and cooperated as a strong team during the week, and were extremely supportive of one another. The trip bonded us like nothing else could, and I feel even more confident now, going into next year. Listening to the other school’s ideas through presentations were very inspiring and eye opening as to how large of an impact we can make on the world. Although our team is small, we are strong and I can’t wait to continue making an impact on our community with them.” ~Bethany
It gave me chills to see our team with these Enactus powerhouses – top seven in the Country! Congratulations to the University of Windsor, who won the National Challenge.
“Enactus has given me an opportunity to do things I never would have done before. I am now more comfortable working with people, and being in front of an audience. Enactus has shown me just how much we can accomplish when we all come together as a team. I was able to see changes throughout our own community, as a result of our work.
From travelling to Vancouver, I learned just how big the Enactus organization is. I wasn’t aware how many schools, students and faculty are involved in this great organization. I was able to attend the HR forum which allowed me to meet Enactus members from other schools and provinces. Based on the presentations I watched, I was amazed with how much each team is accomplishing to better their communities, as well as Canada.” ~Kelyn
Enactus NSCC Pictou wins the Spirit of Enactus award in our league
Jim & Anne, faculty advisors
Nicole, Jennifer, Hailey, Maddie, Samantha, and Sydney – National Presentation Team
“Enactus is more than just entrepreneurs doing entrepreneurial things. It is about helping people in need, building stronger communities, as well as creating jobs for people in need. We all take the time and see the needs in our communities and think “let’s be that change”. I’m proud to say, we were that change for the people in our community! I’m proud of all the teams that are part of Enactus, especially the NSCC teams, who are just a big family across the province.
We are so fortunate that we were able to go to nationals to showcase our hard work, network, and see other projects across the country. We are thankful for the donations and support given to us! Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to bring ten team members all the way across the country! Thank you so much!” ~Jennifer
Some staggering statistics from the HSBC Women’s Leadership Forum – especially impactful when traveling with ten millennial women!
“What a whirlwind of a week!! I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to go to ENACTUS Nationals held in Vancouver this year and experience it with such a great bunch of women (plus Jim)! Coming from the practical nursing program I loved getting to know other students and faculty members who I most likely would not have interacted with otherwise. It has made my college experience that much more enjoyable. I walk on campus not just as a student coming to learn but I feel a sense of comfort, acceptance…I feel at home.
The sense of purpose you feel knowing you are contributing to your community in such a positive way..ENACTUS in every way helps feed your soul, however cheesy that might sound.
Participating at Nationals has not only helped boost my ability to public speak, but also my confidence in myself. Listening to the keynote speakers along with the amazing projects presented by the other schools has helped our team learn aspects we need to improve and inspired us to push the envelope with news ideas to help better our community. ENACTUS provides a platform to help support you as you accomplish your dreams, while seeing other teams in action helps encourage us to strive for better.” ~Samantha
Early morning tech check
Late night practicing!
Off to lunch between presentations
Early morning tech check
Early morning tech check
“Joining the Enactus team in September was definitely the best decision I made this school year. I didn’t really know what to expect or what I had truly signed up for until the regional competition in Halifax in March. The energy was high and atmosphere electric. Winning the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge and getting Runner Up for the Scotiabank Eco-Living Green Challenge was awesome! Especially considering that we were competing against universities like MUN and SMU.
The Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver was even more spectacular. It was amazing to network with other teams and see the impact that students are making in their communities, across the country, and around the world. I never would have imagined when I moved from Ontario to small-town Nova Scotia that I would be given the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team and travel across the country to showcase the difference that we make in our community.
I am very excited to continue with Enactus next year in a leadership role and I am very excited to see just how much our little team can do! ” ~Holly
Enactus NSCC Pictou – final day
“During my two years of being a member of Enactus it has taught me so many skills needed for life that I wouldn’t learn in a classroom. I have met new friends and found a new view at how to look at things in the real world. Without Enactus I don’t know what I would be doing right now when it comes to my everyday life. I’ve made a brand new family that I would not change for anything. When going to school, getting involved is something that I now highly encourage everyone to do because it enhances the value of your education and how you see things differently.
In the most recent event which was the National Exposition in Vancouver we have built new team skills and ways to keep building the team and encouraging people to want to be part of what we are. When away at the national exposition you meet new people, networking and trading your skills that you have learned with other people so that in the end, everyone can succeed.
Although I may not be a student anymore at the Pictou Campus, I will always stay an active member as Alumni to the team and remember what Enactus has taught me and carry it on for the rest of my life.” ~Sydney
On our way!
Downtime in Calgary airport
Jen is ready for anything!
“Enactus has taught me much this past year. From being someone who follows through on commitments, to being someone who goes with the flow, this team has so much to offer that you will not get anywhere else. This team has forced me to grow as a person, to stand up for what I believe in and to have the confidence to stand against things that I do not.
The trip to Enactus Nationals 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, was an essential component to understanding the impact this organization has on not only Canada, but the world. The team had the opportunity to listen to the presentations of teams who were both new, upcoming novices, and seasoned Enactus professionals. These presentations helped us understand the standards to which all teams must be held to, and strive to become.
Enactus is an organization that is changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world for the better. The students and faculty advisors volunteer millions of hours to make this world a better place, and we, Enactus NSCC Pictou, are so proud and honoured to be a part of this community of leaders.
As a consequence of this past year, I now refuse to believe that small things do not matter. Every minute, every second that you spend helping others matters in our ongoing mission to make social change.
I would like to take the time to offer my deepest gratitude to NSCC Entrepreneurship and the NSCC Foundation for supporting us this past year. Thank you for believing in this small, dedicated team and thank you for helping us be able to do the things we do.
This support does not go unrecognized or unappreciated.” ~Maddie
Part of our welcoming committee/fan club at the Halifax airport – thank you, Chasity, for the photo!
Thank you to our whole team for an amazing year – this includes students; our advisors, both on staff and in the community; our community partners; our NSCC Pictou Campus administration; NSCC Entrepreneurship; the NSCC Foundation; the NSCC Waterfront and NSCC Truro teams; our families, and all of our other community supporters.
Congratulations to our graduates, Nicole, Maddie, and Jennifer. We will miss you, but thank you for all of your contributions and know you will stay involved as alumni. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, and for our team.