By Karen Klink

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced – John Keats

Twice a year Business & Education Partnership holds Challenge Day, to give students a chance to apply their learning through hands-on experience on real projects at local companies.

Business & Education Partnership held one last April and Jonathan Grover, Founder and CEO of iNotForProfit, was eager to support it.

“Challenge Day provides students with the opportunity to go beyond the confines of the classroom. It is something innovative that they cannot get from the school curriculum,”says Grover.

iNotForProfit is a social enterprise that creates software solutions for non-profits, charities and NGO’s to make a greater impact and drive fundraising and engagement.

During Challenge Day, three students helped Grover design mobile app features for a project iNotForProfit was working on. Grover spent the day mentoring the students, focusing on helping them to develop their critical thinking skills, and encouraged “outside of the box thinking”.

After making connections on Challenge Day with Waterloo Catholic School Board and it’s co-op program, Grover hired Sami Bazely, a co-op student.

“My summer experience with iNotForProfit was a great hands-on learning opportunity that was an eye-opening experience and has provided me with guidance on what I want to pursue after high school,” says Bazely. “I think co-op and programs like Challenge Day are excellent opportunities for students to take advantage of as they are an excellent way to connect with industry professionals.”

Grover had such a successful time with the last Challenge Day that he is looking forward to working with more students and potentially hiring another co-op student.

“Events like Challenge Day are critical to job creation. I am a strong believer in applied learning and supporting the “don’t tell me…show me” philosophy. I am proud to be a social entreprise exposing the next generation of leaders to a blended business model where you can create a world-class company and still make the world a better place,” says Grover.

“ As leaders in the community we have a responsibility to give back to the leaders of tomorrow.”

The next Challenge Day for students in grades 11 & 12 will take place on December 5th, 2013 at the Communitech Hub. If you are a company interested in participating please contact Karen Klink

 

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