Ponoka student among 800 in education program

One Ponoka student is taking part in the SHAD advanced education program

A record 801 youth from coast to coast will attend SHAD this July, one of whom is from Ponoka.

Ponoka Secondary Campus student Mina Shin is one of these students looking forward to taking the summer off so she can take part in one of this country’s top incubators for youth innovation and entrepreneurship.

Students will participate in SHAD, the unique and award-winning Canadian enrichment program that has helped develop the raw skills and talents of close to 16,000 youth since 1980.

“What you do is develop people who look at the world a different way. They become game changers. They know how to alter things for the better,” said Governor General David Johnston, adding, “It’s so important for the country that SHAD scale up and scale out.”

Students live in residence for the month of July at SHAD. They attend lectures and workshops from top faculty focused around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Experiential learning is also a big part of SHAD.

Students are presented with a theme or social problem every summer which they learn at the beginning of the program. They have to devise an original product or service that addresses this real world, complex issue. In the process, they are taught how to build a business plan, marketing plan and working prototype and come away with an entrepreneurial mindset.

SHAD has helped produce 32 Rhodes Scholars in that time and many other leading innovators and entrepreneurs are part of the SHAD Network including Michele Romanow, a serial entrepreneur and television personality on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Cavanaugh says, “Canada right now is focused on innovation and youth and the best combination of those two things is at SHAD.”

SHAD President and CEO Tim Jackson says SHAD 2017 students are in for the summer of their lives: “Past students rave about the program and how it transforms them. That’s why we’re trying to ensure SHAD is known and available to every eligible student across the country.”

SHAD offers bursaries to students with financial need and recently announced a partnership with Pathways to Education to help students from more marginalized communities attend the program.

A record 13 Canadian university campuses from coast to coast will play host to SHAD this summer including Ryerson University, the first program hosted in Toronto. Governor General David Johnston, who has made innovation one of his pillars, was on hand for the launch of the program at Ryerson in May.

The students are selected for SHAD after an intense competition which includes examining students’ extracurricular activities and the work they are doing in their communities and beyond to make a difference. Any obstacles the students may have had to overcome along the way are also considered.