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St. Lawrence College students win at regional competition

2010-03-12

St. Lawrence College’s “Students in Free Enterprise” (SIFE) team has been recognized as champions of the central region at the Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE)  exposition held in Toronto on March 8.

 

SIFE St. Lawrence College competed against 17 other SIFE teams from Ontario and Quebec in three different categories: Green Sustainability; Entrepreneurship; and Financial Literacy. The team stood out amongst others and were named champion of Green Sustainability and second runner-up in Financial Literacy. The team will be participating in the ACE national exposition in Calgary in May where the team was a national semi-finalist last year.

 

The team has developed two projects Green projects that are benefiting Kingston and surrounding communities. The first project is “Green Homes”, a year old project to make homes more energy efficient. The students have partnered with Pathways to Independence, a non-profit organization that houses individuals with differing abilities, to perform energy audits of their housing facilities and to date three home energy assessments have been completed. The first assessment identified a savings of over $2,400 with minimal retrofits such caulking around windows. The students are currently looking for sponsors complete these retrofits. The team’s second green initiative is to help install a walk-in freezer for the Kingston Partners is Mission Food Bank which is a regional hub which feeds over 6,000 individuals annually. Currently the Food Bank is not able to accept donations of frozen food, with the installation of the freezer the capacity of the food bank will be increased by 48,000 pounds.

 

The team has two financial literacy projects which helped them bring home their second-runner up trophy. The first project involves teaching Kingston secondary school students the financial benefits of post-secondary education through a program called FutureU. The program has already conducted 10 workshops impacting 230 students. 

The second project teaches post-secondary students budget their expenses through Manage Your Money (MY$). One participant saved over $500 last semester which equals one month of rent or two months of groceries.

 

In the second year of operation the SIFE St. Lawrence College team has had tremendous success including nine SIFE awards. "I'm so very proud of my team and their efforts. We have a really talented and dedicated group of individuals,” explains Spencer Dossett, incoming President of SIFE St. Lawrence. “We will use this as motivation to continue to build on the impact we are having in our community."

 

The team is currently running five projects and looks to add at least three more for next year. The organization has also grown its members from 9 last year to a nearly 40 this year. The success of the SIFE St. Lawrence team is aided through the work and financial sponsorship of local businesses. “Our efforts would never have been made possible if it wasn’t for our community supporters and sponsors,” was said by Darcy Voutt, outgoing President of SIFE St. Lawrence College. “Such as Unity Savings who is the major sponsor of our financial literacy projects and Shawn Geary of McCoy Bus Service who puts us on a bus and sits on our advisory board.” With a growing interest on campus and in the community, there looks to be no sign of these students slowing down.