College students mentoring high school peers for Sustainable Development Challenge
KELOWNA – It’s students helping students tackle the biggest issues of our time.
Okanagan College (OC) students have joined forces with youth leaders in Grades 8 to 12 in the Central Okanagan to provide mentorship on projects that will impact the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The high school teams are preparing for a local Sustainable Development Challenge event, inspired by the UN initiative, and are able to bounce their ideas and projects off OC students prior to the challenge finale later this month.
“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 OC 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 the competition finale, a live event where students will pitch their projects to judges and a public audience. Top teams receive funding and support to make their ideas reality. The live pitch event will be held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Feb. 23.
“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.”
The Sustainable Development Challenge is a partnership between Global Citizen Events and the Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan (GECCO). It has been ongoing since 2003, promoting the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and celebrating the impact Okanagan citizens are making in humanitarian efforts.
“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.”
Okanagan College’s Sustainable Management class is part of a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in the College’s Okanagan School of Business.
For more information on the School of Business at OC, click here.
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