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PERSPECTIVES I ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL AND LINKS HIGH SCHOOL WIN QUEBEC ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARDS

MONTREAL, MAY 4, 2015 – Students from Perspectives I Alternative High School in St. Michel and from LINKS High School in Ahuntsic were both winners in the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest. They received their awards at a ceremony on April 30 at LaSalle College

Both projects have advanced to the Provincial competition in Quebec City on June 18.

Students from the Mackay Centre and Dalkeith Elementary School in Anjou were also nominated for awards and took home the “Coup de Coeur” award in their respective categories.

In total, 830 EMSB students were involved in the creation of 78 projects for consideration. From those, 50 were chosen to receive EMSB Entrepreneurship grants and a final 34 were entered in the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest.

W.A.T. Co (Perspectives I Alternative High School):

Secondary III students from Perspectives Is are enrolled in a special “Projet Particulier 15+” program and registered in an entrepreneurship class. Following some brainstorming, the students agreed to make their own t-shirts to sell within the community and spread the message that solidarity makes learning and working together more fluid.  They have also decided that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Guzzo Foundation, which now supports children’s mental health.

The students have established a name for their new enterprise: The W.A.T. Co. (We Are Together Company). The theme “We Are Together” was chosen by the students because all those involved in the project come from different schools and communities and they have learned to work together at Perspectives I. Head teacher Barbara White says that the students worked on discovering their individual strengths and weaknesses to help them better decide on what roles they should play in their t-shirt company.

Carrefour Jeunesse, as well as the Printing and Digital Layout Department at Rosemount Technology Center, became The W.A.T. Co.’s new  partners. Rosemount Technology Center was very supportive of the students’ business plan and went out of their way to teach them how to use graphic software and make the printing machines available.

The students then proceeded to create designs for their t-shirts. In the end,  nine designs were chosen to be printed. The designs chosen were based on the students’ perception of the people who would be buying them: adults, teenagers  and children. However, each t-shirt design also respected the “We are together,” theme.

To help save costs, the students printed the t-shirts themselves. They also considered marketing the product. This led to creating unique labels and packaging to make the product even more attractive to the public. Posters and a special display stand to advertise the product were also created by the students.  “All in all, this was an amazing experience,” says Ms. White.

The Terrerrium (LINKS High School):

For The Terrerrium, students from LINKS High School learned how to build ‘urban gardens’ with recycled plastic bottles. Students transformed the bottles into pots, which was followed by the transplantation of the flowers and plants to the bottles.

“The students found the hardest part was designing and building the actual ‘pots’ for terrariums,” said Travis Hall, Career Development Consultant at the EMSB. “While participating in this project, the students learned many things, but what had the most impact was the realization they do not need a big piece of land to enjoy nature and benefit from plants. They also learned a fun way to recycle. They happily shared this knowledge and their new skills with their community during public school events where they sold their Terrariums.”

Have a Seat (Dalkeith Elementary School):

Recently, Dalkeith Elementary purchased new chairs for events in their gymnasium. The students thought it would be very wasteful to throw out the old chairs and as such, they decided that the old metallic chairs could be renewed and sold to local community. The students began repairing and sanding the chairs. Afterwards they were painted, decorated, and a cushion was added. Finally they made them available for sale to their community.

“The students learned a lot about entrepreneurship through the project,” said Hall. “They also learned that they can positively influence the world around them. Their project proves the value of recycling and reusing old items. Their old chairs now have a new life and a new purpose.”

Leader on Wheels Fundraising Initiative (Mackay Centre):

The Leaders on Wheels are a group of wheelchair bound students that raise funds through the selling of their famous Cajun Spice Rub and Triple Chocolate Brownie. Sold at various times and places throughout the year to raise money, students donate their proceeds to the Montreal Children's Hospital.

Over the last two years, these students have been able to raise a lot of money due to the support given by EMSB’s Entrepreneurship funding and initiatives. Their efforts have been recognized by the Children's Hospital because their donations have helped “to purchase specialized lifesaving equipment and attract the best and the brightest pediatric specialists to treat all children in need of help.”

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca