Throughout May and June of this year, Employ to Empower partnered with Insight Global Education, a program run at Mulgrave, a local private school, to host community-based, educational programming on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with their grade 7, 8 and 9 students.
Through this partnership, Employ to Empower had the opportunity to help entrepreneurs build relationships with high school students through mutually beneficial learning opportunities.
To learn more about how this opportunity came to be and the value of this experience we sat down with Christina Wong, co-founder and executive director as well as Elwood Price, co-founder of Crap Trapper.
How did the partnership come to be?
Christina Wong: I was first contacted by Manisha Narula, who reached out to me on Linkedin and shared how she was working at Insight Global Education. They were looking to learn from amazing organizations working locally to address global issues such as environmental sustainability, health, and inequalities. This could look like a hands-on workshop, a guest speaker, a volunteer opportunity, or a community project, to engage students in the work your organization does.
Charissa Landicho, head of advocacy programming, and I designed a workshop experience that had a blend of awareness, engagement, and education and found a way to empower young students to share their skills, and be useful to the entrepreneurs.
How did you connect the dots to find a mutually beneficial experience?
Christina Wong: With young kids being social media wizards and the greatest need for our entrepreneurs being marketing support, we thought it would be the most synergetic partnership for the students to get shoulder to shoulder, hands-on experience to help the entrepreneurs get their websites created so that they can further market their products/services.
What kind of connection did you see between these two groups?
Christina Wong: This collaboration was amazing – witnessing young students, who I firmly believe to be the future generation of changemakers, to be a part of the movement of de-stigmatization and challenging the way we talk about poverty. They made a website in two days and worked so hard. Our entrepreneurs felt really grateful, as getting online has been a key barrier in their business growth.
As an entrepreneur, how was your experience?
Elwood Price: I found it very uplifting, inspirational. They were really interested in helping as much as they could. They listened to what we had to say, understood it all, then translated what we were looking to do into a format that we put onto the internet. By the end, our website all looked very professional and well done.
The students were very interested in the fact that Crap Trapper helps the community and needs to be done. They knew that it was a serious problem.
What tangible learnings did you take away from your experience?
Elwood Price: I learned about a few new things that I didn’t know about like a QR code. So, that was really good.
Thank you so much to Elwood and Christina for taking the time out to talk to us about this new initiative. We look forward to the next steps in this partnership with Insights Global Education.