Okanagan College students will once again be competing for a Canadian title after qualifying for the Enactus National Exposition with a first-place finish in their league during the semi-final round.
Enactus teams at post-secondary institutions across Canada competed virtually earlier in May, and Okanagan College scooped up top position in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge, and runner-up in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge for the Unusually Good Food Co. project.
It also included national runner-up in Shaw and RBC accelerators for projects that worked with Indigenous youth and refugee and immigrant youth on entrepreneurial and career building skills.
Danielle Walker, president of EnactusOC, also won the Student Leader of the Year Award, presented by Canadian Tire.
“We are all truly humbled by these awards. As my term comes to an end, I am so grateful to have been able to serve so many incredible students who give countless hours of their time to positively impact our community,” said Walker.
“I have been fortunate to learn from some very dedicated and amazing OC faculty advisors and I have learned so much on this journey. The real prize has been standing beside my teammates and seeing the impact. Our team helped 22,000 children access nutritious snacks this year, this is our why. We are all winners when we can empower others.”
So far in the competition, EnactusOC has earned $11,000 in prize monies through many top achievements.
“Joining EnactusOC has been one of the best things I have done since attending Okanagan College,” said MacKenna Lenarcic, incoming EnactusOC president and member of the team heading to nationals. “Enactus has added tremendous value to my overall education through applied learning. This team has become a second family for me, and I am extremely excited to continue working alongside them over this next year.”
The Enactus Okanagan College teams are made up of students who are passionate about creating social, economic, and environmental projects that create a positive change in their community.
Enactus OC operates out of the Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm campuses. Through their work in the community, the organization aims to satisfy the needs of the Okanagan-Shuswap through its development and implementation of projects such as the Unusually Good Food Co., which turns unwanted apples from local orchards into a healthy snack for vulnerable members in the community, schools and food banks.
To make the project financially sustainable, the team produces and sells fresh pressed orchard apple cider through retailers such as Askew’s Foods, Buy-Low Vernon, Peter’s Independent Grocer, and BC Tree Fruits Market. Seeing an opportunity to inspire the next generation, the project not only teaches local elementary and high school students about social entrepreneurship, but provides the opportunity for schools to run their own social enterprise.
They launched two new projects this year, Elevate and the Ivy Collective, which built upon the team’s successful history with existing projects.
“I am so proud of these students. Despite the many challenges of the last two years, they have stayed committed to fighting food insecurity and climate change. These awards recognize their tremendous community impact,” said Andrew Klingel, Okanagan College business professor and faculty advisor to EnactusOC.
One of five finalists for the entire country, EnactusOC will head to the National Exposition in September in Toronto with the winner going to the World Cup in Puerto Rico in October 2022.
For more information, watch EnactusOC’s project videos or read their report. To support their social enterprise Unusually Good Food Co., visit their website: www.unusuallygood.ca.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.