June 1, 2015
Two student leaders received national accolades at the Enactus Canada National Exposition last month.
Jon King, president of Enactus Memorial, was recognized with the Student Leader of the Year Award. Courtney Clarke, co-project manager of Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur, won the Gwyn Morgan Bursary for Principled Leadership.
Enactus Memorial finished in the semi-final round, losing to the University of Windsor by just one point.
The Student Leader of the Year Award recognizes, celebrates and honours a university or college student who demonstrates leadership within their Enactus team and throughout their community and who exemplifies success and inspires their peers.
Mr. King has been a member of Enactus Memorial for five years and president for the past two. A graduating commerce student, he founded two projects – Project Stitch and Project Bottlepreneur – and was a member of the World Cup presentation team that placed in the top eight in 2014. He’s been on the national presentation team for four years.
"Jon has been an incredible leader,” said assistant professor Lynn Morrissey, faculty advisor for Enactus Memorial. “His commitment to our projects and people is unparalleled. He took our team to a new level though his vision and innovative approach."
The Gwyn Morgan Bursary goes to a student who exhibits superior commitment to being a principled leader by choosing paths where a positive attitude and strong ethical values are apparent through their leadership.
Ms. Clarke is in her first year with Enactus Memorial. She was a member of the 2014 World Cup team and a presenter on the financial education team at the 2015 regional and national competitions.
She recently finished her third year of the bachelor of business administration program and also holds an arts degree in history and English and a post-graduate certificate in quality management. She works at an administrative specialist at Goodlife Fitness.
“Joining Enactus Memorial was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself,” she said. “Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the experiences and opportunities it has brought me. We get to apply concepts we learn in the classroom to real life issues, creating a positive and direct impact on other people’s livelihoods. It has made me a better person in both my personal and professional life.”
Enactus Memorial was the defending national champion heading into the competition and, as the most successful team in the country with seven national and one world titles to its credit, considered by many as the team to beat.
“Our team always feels pressure, and the bulk of that comes from within,” said Prof. Morrissey. “The students hold themselves to the highest standards and work tirelessly to achieve impact and reach in our projects. This year was no exception, and our projects were strong. This year, our 72 members ran 11 projects that impacted 3,152 people, created 102 jobs and $1,692,570 in revenue. By any evaluation, we have to call that a good year!”
“We had hoped to present in the final round, and were disappointed not to have that opportunity. [But] they had their moment of disappointment and within an hour were planning for next year’s competition. That’s a real testament to their passion for making a difference in our communities,” she added.
Fifty-eight teams from around the country participated in the national exposition. From there, 16 teams advanced to four semi-final rounds. The University of Ottawa was named national champion and will compete at the World Cup in the fall.
“I am very proud of the team,” said Emily Bland, vice-president of Enactus Memorial. “Looking back on our year, everyone truly feels that they were a part of changing the future of numerous individuals in our community.”
The Memorial team, comprised of undergraduate students from several different academic units, had a busy year. Aside from the World Cup in October, the team also launched three new projects – Enactus Footprint, Recyclability and Arctic Root – in addition to continuing its other projects: Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur, Project Bottlepreneur, Project Stitch, AGreenCulture, LaunchPad, World at Work, Planting Potential and Youth in Business.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from judges along the way [and] many were impressed by the depth of our programs and that we are capable of running so many,” said Ms. Bland.
“Our team will continue strong and use our passion of making a difference to not only improve the lives of those in Newfoundland and Labrador but across the country. We are currently brainstorming new project ideas and would love to hear any ideas from the community. At the end of the day, our team is proud of the work that we have done. We are part of the next generation of emerging leaders and we are excited to continue to share our passion for Enactus with the world.”