If these Indigenous Youth aren't amazing, I don't know who is?!!
All eight youth ranging from ages 17 to 20 years old from the Squamish Nation took time out of their weekend on a sunny October Sunday to complete a 7-hour Youth Confidence, Money Management and Career Development workshop. And they aced it!
Talk about commitment to their own growth and development. Many great ideas were exchanged, shared experiences in life were discussed, and there was conversation around different career choices from law enforcement to the trades and even starting a business or two!
On the following week, we had two incredible business presentations where Nolan Rudkowsky, Reeva Billy and Liam Donetz came up with innovative business ideas (that don't exist in our local market, yet) and created entire business plan outlines needed to start these companies.
Both ideas are completely viable business models and if the youth move on them, we may see these businesses in operation in Vancouver very soon.
Class participants won fantastic prizes like ski tickets in Whistler (the grand prize), movie passes, awesome business and life enhancing books, coffee cards and other fun stuff. Also and most importantly certificates of completion were given for their dedication to completing the training.
Let's keep encouraging Indigenous youth to learn how to flex their confidence muscle, give them the tools to go after their dreams and gain the many skills needed today to build careers and lives that they love!!
Participants also got to hear from two Indigenous BC Award Winners from the Squamish Nation, Orene Askew, otherwise known as DJ O'Show, and Lisa Peterson of Peterson Stone Works. Both women started off in Activ8's courses as budding entrepreneurs under the age of 30 nearly seven years ago and have since grown their businesses and become leaders in their fields.
It was wonderful for the youth to hear about O'Show and Lisa's business journeys and to learn that if you have a vision, gain the know-how through education, and take action, anything is possible!
Big thanks and shout outs to Geena Jackson for starting and running the small business training program at the Squamish Nation for the last 7 years and she will be extremely missed by the community but has taken an incredible job with a multi-nation transmission line business as the head of Indigenous Relations.
The Squamish Nation business training program has picked up a lot of momentum over the years with many new members starting businesses that they are passionate about, and we've had 5 winners at the BC Indigenous Business Award winners over the past few years.
Jody Antone has done a great job taking over for Geena as Squamish Nation's Small Business Officer booking the courses, letting the community know they are available through multi-channel marketing, and organizing the space on the days of the workshops.
Big thanks as well to Cherie Baker for helping out on our Squamish Nation Dragon's Den evening as a judge. The youth all proved that they are committed to pursuing their career goals, learning how to manage their financial futures and gaining more tools and skills that will help them to create a life that they are excited about and living up to their full potential.
Squamish Nation members are certainly hungry for knowledge and to turn their talents into commercial ventures that give back to the community! Watch for more Squamish Nation award winners coming to an Indigenous business event near you!
Please share this post as these amazing people deserve to be recognized!