Campus Life  

OC Enactus helps young females navigate the future

OC Kelowna Aerial

Okanagan College’s nationally recognized Enactus team is kicking off the new year with new community-initiatives, including a program preparing local young females to navigate their future with confidence, positive self-image and the know-how to tackle the world of job hunting.

The project, Ivy Collective, is a free skills development program that supports females aged 15-18 through a series of one-hour online training workshops. Topics include public speaking, job application skills and confidence-building strategies.

The first workshop of the new year will be hosted on Jan. 21 and is entitled Your Brand Matters. Participants will learn what makes a great personal brand, first impression, professional presence and how to create an elevator pitch. Those looking to register can visit www.ivycollectiveoc.ca.

“Ivy Collective takes the pressure off young women by offering the workshops in a safe environment where they can non-judgmentally learn and try new skills, learn from each other and support one another along their personal growth journey,” says Laura Hetherington, Okanagan College Business Professor and Enactus Faculty Advisor.

Enactus OC was one of just five teams across Canada to receive a $3,100 RBC Future Launch grant for the Ivy Collective project. The Enactus team was also fortunate to connect with a community partner, marketing company Twirling Umbrellas, who donated $8,000 of their services to launch the project online.

“Job skills have always been important to build, but it’s even more crucial now to provide these opportunities to help youth navigate the virtual change of scenery in job hunting and relationship building,” says Twirling Umbrellas President Chris Stephens. “We are passionate about supporting our community and partnering with the Enactus students on this project was a no brainer for us.”

Despite the challenges of operating a club during a global pandemic, the College’s Enactus team has secured two more exclusive grants in support of new projects and expanding existing initiatives.

“In these unprecedented times, community initiatives that our Enactus OC team has led for many years, are so difficult to do, yet never more important,” says Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Okanagan College Business Professor and Enactus Faculty Advisor.

“To be able to adapt their programs and launch new partnerships is a sign of the resiliency and commitment of our students; we are grateful for this funding and an opportunity to find creative ways for our team to continue its social impact work.”

The Enactus team was also awarded a $2,500 Canadian Tire Youth Empowering grant—one of just six teams in Canada to do so—for their new project, Rising | Empathy Empowerment Education.

The project was created in collaboration with educators and the non-profit organization, Journey Home, to equip School District 23 teachers with resources on how to open dialogues with students about homelessness and social responsibilities. The project is piloting in the spring and has plans to expand its reach later this year.

OC Enactus Faculty Advisor Dr. Myrah received the third grant, a $5,800 Faculty Advisor Research Fund grant towards research on allyship. Her research seeks to demonstrate the importance of utilizing lived experience in the development and co-creation of programs designed to help support vulnerable populations. Her research outcomes will be presented at the Enactus National competition in May.

For more information on Enactus OC projects, visit www.enactusoc.ca. For more information about other research initiatives on homelessness in the community that Dr. Myrah and others are involved in, please visit: https://khrc.ok.ubc.ca/

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