As an Accounting major, Beedie undergraduate Becky Wong is used to dealing with money. Rather than limit her financial education to the classroom, however, she decided to leverage her experience to benefit others, co-founding an award winning social enterprise that has since imparted invaluable financial literacy skills upon 131 at-risk youths.
Becky is the co-founder of Count on Me, a program operated by Enactus SFU, the SFU chapter of the global student organization that addresses social, environmental and economics needs in the community. After initially acting as workshop coordinator for one of Enactus SFU’s many initiatives, Banner Bags, Becky decided to create her own program.
Through learning how to manage her own personal finances and witnessing the financial mistakes made by her peers, Becky recognized that there is a gap in financial literacy education. As a means to address this problem she developed Count on Me, a program that takes at-risk youths through financial literacy workshops that cover goal setting, budgeting, résumé development, and job interview skills.
“I constructed it so that it would make a double impact, so that the students teaching the workshops learn just as much about finances as the youths taking the course,” says Becky. “I personally didn’t know about budgeting, or credit cards or how debt works, and neither did my friends, so I think it is a really relatable program.”
In the year Becky operated the program she helped teach financial basics to youths from three alternative programs in and around Vancouver. She was recognized for her work with the First Runner Up prize at the Enactus Canada Nationals 2013 Capital One Financial Literacy Challenge. Three years later, under different stewardship, the Count on Me program took home first place in the same category.
Since moving on from Count on Me, Becky has improved her professional skills by competing at JDC West twice 2014 and 2015. She also furthered her student experience through international exchange, undertaking a five-week intensive at the National University of Singapore, before travelling to Thailand, where she spent a semester at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
“The exchange program really helps you understand how big the world is and gives you perspective on how international events can actually impact your life,” says Becky. “You also see how much a dollar stretches and the impact of business in developing countries.”
Having recently graduated from Beedie, Becky is pursuing a career in accounting by securing her CPA designation while working for MNP LLP.
&Through establishing Count on Me and her extensive involvement in Beedie student life, Becky has left a lasting legacy for future Beedie students.
“It was tough to juggle, but I felt really supported at Beedie and because of that I was able to accomplish so much,” says Becky. “Seeing where Count on Me is now, I’m really proud of the program and where other people have taken it.”