An Okanagan College business student is among 12 youth in the province who were recognized last week with an inaugural BC Social Innovation Youth Award, valued at $1,000.
Abbey Jones received the award from the Honourable Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, at the B.C. Summit on Social Innovation in Vancouver on Feb. 8.
Jones is in the third year of the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration program in Kelowna and is the co-founder and project manager of CANsave—a financial education program designed to teach primary school students the importance of saving and financial planning.
The project, which is operated through Okanagan College’s Enactus team, was initiated in 2016 after Jones and her peers identified a lack of financial education in the current school curriculum. The CANsave program was launched in Kelowna and has grown quickly, spreading through schools across the country. CANsave is now being implemented in 80 communities throughout Canada and is impacting more than 6,000 students.
“Being at the forefront of developing and implementing CANsave has added an incredible amount of value to my experience at the Okanagan School of Business,” says Jones. “Learning through experience, trying new things and making connections in the business and non-profit communities along the way are some of the incredible experiences I am so thankful for.”
The BC Social Innovation Youth Awards recognize 12 extraordinary individuals in the province under the age of 30 who are creating positive social change within their communities.
At just 21-years-old Jones is among the youngest of the recipients and according to her professor Dr. Kyleen Myrah, is more than deserving.
“Abbey is a great example of the very best of the students I have the privilege of working with at Okanagan College and it was an honour to be with her in Vancouver to watch her accept this award,” says Myrah. “While she is outstanding in the classroom, where Abbey really shines is her community engagement. As part of Enactus Okanagan College, Abbey and her peers take their knowledge and enthusiasm and put their skills into projects that have a real impact on people in our community. The growth and success of CANsave is evidence of the strength of her ideas and her leadership skills. We are extremely proud to work with her at the College.”