Okanagan College and high school students work to make the world a better place

Students pushing for change

Kelowna high school students are getting a helping hand from third-year students at Okanagan College as they team up to tackle some of the biggest issues of the day.

Students studying Sustainable Management at Okanagan College are mentoring a group of Okanagan high school students in grades 8 to 12 as the teams prepare for a local Sustainable Development Challenge in Kelowna later this month.

“It’s been really great for the high school teams to get mentors who are a little closer in age to them,” said challenge organizer Antonia DeBoer. “They were so excited to be on the Okanagan College campus and I think it was nice for them to be able to visualize one day being in a post-secondary setting.”

The event is inspired by the UN initiative, adopted five years ago, and will allow older students to mentor the high school students ahead of the challenge finale on Feb. 23 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

“Having our students connect with the younger generation of high school students creates such a great energy and discussion about sustainable practices and some of the big issues the world is dealing with,” said Okanagan College professor Danielle Robinson, who split her third-year Sustainable Management class into groups to work with each of the teams involved in the challenge.

“Together students are developing incredible innovative solutions.”

Teams from four Kelowna high schools are working with OC students and will meet three times as they prepare for a live competition finale where students will pitch their projects to judges and a public audience. Top teams receive funding and support to make their ideas a reality.

“Being able to work with high school students has been amazing,” said third-year OC Sustainable Management student MacKenna Lenarcic, herself a veteran of team competitions as president of Enactus Okanagan.

“We have been very impressed with the groups and the ideas they have. It’s been exciting to share information with the next wave of student leaders.”

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