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MONTREAL, JUNE 2, 2016  - Students at L.I.N.K.S. High School in Ahuntsic have earned recognition at the local level in the OSEntreprendre Challenge with their Cultural Mosaic Enterpreneurship Project and handmade cards for the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Society.

The OSEntreprendre Challenge (known until recently as the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest) is a major entrepreneurship contest that has been taking place at the local, regional, and provincial levels for the past 18 years. It recognizes students from elementary school through to university, and new entrepreneurs. The challenge draws more than 40,000 participants yearly. The goal is to initiate and mobilize a large number of students to promote entrepreneurial initiatives in order to inspire them to believe in themselves and rise to the challenge.

L.I.N.K.S. teacher Nikolaos Vlahopoulos’ class participated in a Cultural Mosaic Entrepreneurship Project. Students researched their family history and background to acquire information about their own cultural language, customs, traditions, religion, foods, flag, customs, sports, and popular pastimes. They mounted images and short descriptive texts onto large, colourful poster boards which were displayed within the school.

“Students acquired new information about themselves, their families, and those of their peers,” said Mr. Vlahopoulos. “They want to learn more about the world and the people in it, have created new friendships, and have come to know that they are from the same side of the world as some of their peers.”

The project indirectly targets bullying as it explores and promotes all cultures in a positive manner. The students are banking questions about their cultures, and are looking forward to finding the answers. “Their self-esteem and confidence have rocketed. They are proud of  what they bring to the table,” Mr. Vlahopoulos added.

The cultural mosaic proved to be an excellent exercise in extrapolating and summarizing pertinent information, which can be an intimidating task for this student population.

Teacher Anna Condo’s husband has ALS. She wanted to contribute to the cause above and beyond the many ways she had already helped. Her class also wanted to contribute. Together, Mrs. Condo’s class chose to make bilingual Christmas cards and donate them to the ALS Society, which in turn uses them to thank their volunteers. The project included researching ALS and learning about how the illness affects people of all ages across Canada.

Ms. Condo’s class continues to work with the ALS Society, continuing to make holiday and thank you cards for them next year. “The project gave the students and staff great satisfaction because they were involved in an initiative that helped raise awareness for such a devastating illness. I was very proud of my students for showing such compassion during this difficult time,” shared Mrs. Condo.

Teachers Mr. Vlahopoulos and Mrs. Condo, and their students were recognized at a recent commissioners meeting at the English Montreal School Board.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213