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Okanagan College students have joined forces with youth leaders in grades eight 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, 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,” says Danielle Robinson, an OC professor.
Robinson 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,” she adds.
Teams from four Kelowna high schools will meet with OC students to work in preparation for the competition finale, a live event where students will pitch their projects to judges and a public audience.
The live pitch event will be held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Feb. 23, and the top teams will receive funding and support to make their ideas a reality.
MacKenna Lenarcic, a third-year OC sustainable management student, says being able to work with high school students has been amazing.
“We have been very impressed with the groups and the ideas they have,” Lenarcic explains. “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.
It has been ongoing since 2003, promoting the UN’s 17 SDGs and celebrating the impact Okanagan citizens are making in humanitarian efforts.
Antonia DeBoer, the challenge organizer, says it’s been great for high school teams to get mentors who are a little closer in age to them.
“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,” DeBoer adds.
OC’s Sustainable Management class is part of a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in the college’s Okanagan School of Business.
Information about the School of Business can be found here.