Standing next to SFU Enacti, I knew it was time for us to witness the movement they had been a part of this past year. Before I was able to collect my thoughts, the doors to the ceremonies abruptly opened and I knew it was time for us all to be inspired. We ran into a large room with over 700 students from across the nation. That’s when it hit me; I was in a room full of risk takers, innovators and above all, change makers- the leaders that collectively make a difference in the lives of over 100,000 individuals over the span of just one year.
On May 11-13, SFU Enactus represented our university at Enactus Nationals 2015. Enactus is a global organization that fosters a change mindset in students from 58 post-secondary schools across Canada. Student leaders utilize social enterprise models to create and implement projects for social change. Each participating school has the opportunity to compete via presentation of their accomplishments throughout the year. The presentation showcases the impact each school makes within their local and global community in a 17-minute presentation. Each institute created an impact over the duration of the past year; each message was different, yet each so significant.
Enactus challenges students to find a need in their community and address it by creating a program that encompasses the triple bottom line and empowers an audience in need. For example, one of our programs, “Soap for Hope” saw an opportunity with bar soap from hotels being thrown in the landfill. Therefore, they took action and enabled progress by up cycling this bar soap into liquid soap to sell to restaurants. Through this program, we created a positive social impact by empowering impoverished individuals from the downtown east side to gain confidence through dignified work opportunities. Further, we created an economic impact by creating a revenue-generating model, and we created an environmental impact by diverting over 1,800 pounds of soap from reaching the landfill.
As it came time for SFU to present, I felt a feeling in my stomach that grew stronger and stronger. As coaches for our presenting team, Lara Ahmad and I stood nervously in the back of the room with big motivating smiles on our faces. It was time to display the tremendous change Enactus SFU was able to accomplish this past year through our eight programs that touched the lives of 714 individuals.
On the last day, it was time for closing ceremonies and that’s when I realized this year’s exposition felt different than the ones I’ve attended in the past two years. I was nervous. I had 365 days to leave my mark and make a difference in our community this upcoming year.
The difference this organization is able to make is not limited to what we focused on this year, which was single mothers, at-risk youth, and impoverished individuals that Enactus students have impacted. Enactus creates a meaningful impact in students’ lives across the world. Enactus gave me the confidence that I could be the person to change the world.
I want to create a positive change in the world this year. There are so many problems that are still untouched. We can be change agents to do better in our world.
How will you contribute to change our world?
Winona Bhatti is in her fourth year at the Beedie School of Business, concentrating in Human Resources, Operations Management, and Accounting. She has helped foster the Beedie spirit in new students through her position as a BASS Mentorship Program Mentor and FROSH Leader. Winona’s most inspiring moments at Beedie have been through her various roles at Enactus SFU. She looks forward to leading Enactus the upcoming year as the President and is excited to see where her Beedie experiences will take her next.