top of page

Entrepreneurship program aims to empower students

Tyler Kula More from Tyler Kula Published on: November 9, 2019 | Last Updated: November 11, 2019 12:10 PM EST

Enactus Lambton's Megan Rizzo and Jon Milos pose with curriculum from the One Future project. The pilot is in five Sarnia-Lambton schools. (Submitted) JPEG, SOSHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT The first lesson in One Future is recognizing what bothers you. And what students say to that – some of them as young as 11 and 12 in the new entrepreneurship and social justice program led by Enactus Lambton – is jaw-dropping, says co-ordinator Megan Rizzo. Poverty, bullying, climate change, homelessness and inequality are among the issues weighing on kids, she said. The program follows in the footsteps of Enactus Lambton’s One Seed initiative in Zambia, which helps locals there establish sustainable businesses and lift themselves out of poverty in the vein of the Enactus mantra to empower positive social change through entrepreneurship. Here, the One Future program encourages youngsters to recognize what they want to see change in the world and gives them tools to try to make a difference, she said. “This program is allowing them to have that voice and it’s opening their eyes to the possibility of what they can do when they use their voice,” she said. Business planning, marketing strategies, global citizenship and critical thinking are among the lessons over the 16 sessions. Pairs of Enactus Lambton leaders visit Grade 7, 8 and 12 classrooms about once every two weeks over the school year, she said. Sustainability and scalability are other lessons, Enactus Lambton faculty adviser Jon Milos said. “The goal of One Future is to help young students develop initiative and accountability while embracing the opportunity to make change,” he said. The impact just two months in has been significant, said Rizzo. “They were hooked from the first session,” she said, noting teachers have said many of the students who never otherwise participate in class are now in the entrepreneurial leadership program. “They are so aware of what’s going on and they want to make a change,” Rizzo said. The pilot program with the St. Clair Catholic District school board is currently at St. Patrick, St. Michael, St. Joseph, Holy Trinity and St. Elizabeth schools. More classrooms want to get involved – there are 175 students in the pilot – but there’s only so much Enactus’s 28 members can take on, said Milos. The One Seed project in Zambia is continuing and Enactus Lambton is also ramping up with One Circle, a collaborative program with different Canadian First Nations to help address issues like clean water, food stability and business development. Milos described all three as flagship projects for the former world champion Enactus program at Lambton College. Plans are to expand One Future to more schools in 2020. “We’re working hard to put a little more funding in place,” said Milos, explaining that’s for lesson materials and internship costs. Canadian students pair with international students from places like India and Mexico as instructors in the One Future program, he said. “This not only allows the students we’re working with to grow, but it allows our own students to grow and to connect with the international students at the college,” Rizzo said. An Enactus fair, promoting the work of students in the One Future program, is also being eyed for the spring, Milos said. “Where the community is coming together at the college to learn about the initiatives that are important to these kids,” he said. “We’re really excited to see how that is going to unfold.”


Recent Posts
bottom of page