Federal and Provincial Governments and Business Leaders Partner with SHAD to Foster Youth Entrepreneurship
Canada’s premier youth program will inspire exceptional local youth to build a career in New Brunswick
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2016
FREDERICTON, NB – Representatives from the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick, joined leaders from the New Brunswick Business Council, the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Pond-Deshpande Centre and SHAD, Canada’s premier youth program fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, in launching a unique New Brunswick initiative tonight at UNB’s Wu Centre.
The SHAD New Brunswick initiative is a unique pilot project and the first of its kind for SHAD in Canada. It will provide a life-long support network for the province’s top talent long after their participation in the program. They will be connected to not only SHAD’s powerful peer to peer alumni network, but also to businesses, incubators and educational programs in the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem after their participation in SHAD starting while they are still in high school.
The Government of Canada is providing $88,750, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program (BDP), to help the Pond-Deshpande Centre at UNB hire a coordinator to promote the SHAD program, identify highly motivated high school students, engage the business community to hire these individuals and ensure participants remain connected to ongoing opportunities in New Brunswick including internships and mentoring. This initiative will help create a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
SHAD launches a unique New Brunswick initiative connecting top SHAD students to leaders in the New Brunswick innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Front Row: SHAD President, Barry Bisson and SHAD Fellow, Michele Romanow with SHAD 2016 participants from New Brunswick Sophie Gagnon and Phillip Soetebeer.
Back Row from left: Karina LeBlanc, with the Pond Deshpande Centre at UNB; Matt DeCourcey, MP for Fredericton; Provincial Government representative John McLaughlin; SHAD Board Chair David Hay; Andrea Fuenekes, New Brunswick Business Council Chair; and New Brunswick Entrepreneurs Gerry Pond and Fred Bullock.
“The Government of Canada is committed to empowering our young people,” said Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “We are pleased to support the SHAD program, which will foster youth entrepreneurship and give youth the skills, connections and tools they need to build their own successful business right here in New Brunswick.”
“Our government knows education is the key to hope, prosperity, and happiness for New Brunswickers,” said Serge Rousselle, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for the Province of New Brunswick. “Programs such as SHAD help inspire our students to work hard to achieve their best so they can take advantage of the life-long opportunities this new initiative will offer.”
Sophie Gagnon, one of the students on hand at the launch event at the Wu Centre at the University of New Brunswick is in Grade 11 at École St. Anne in Fredericton. This July, she will be going to SHAD McMaster, one of 12 host campuses for the prestigious national program which focuses on STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and which helps Canada’s best and brightest youth reach their full potential.
Gagnon has had to overcome a physical disability, muscular dystrophy, but says nothing has held her back and SHAD is helping push her out of her comfort zone even more.
“I love science and want to be a chemical engineer. Through SHAD and this New Brunswick initiative, I am going to make all kinds of connections in the province – people who can help show me the way.”
Another SHAD 2016 student at the launch event, Phillip Soetebeer, is from Skiff Lake, New Brunswick near Canterbury known locally as the gateway to lakes but with a population of about 300 people.
A Grade 10 student, Soetebeer is the first from his school to ever go to SHAD and he will also be travelling to Ontario for an extended stay for the first time to attend SHAD Lakehead in Thunder Bay.
“My ultimate goal is to be a particle physicist and to add something to the world,” he says, noting that many cutting edge discoveries have come through physics.
Giving back is nothing new to Soetebeer who has worked in the village’s volunteer fire department and was kept busy delivering food and water during Hurricane Arthur two summers ago when power was out for eight days. When he was only 13, he helped his mother perform CPR on his father who had gone into cardiac arrest. He was recognized by the Red Cross, the fire department and the Premier of the Province for his life saving act.
SHAD President, Barry Bisson, who has deep connections in the province saw New Brunswick as the ideal place to begin this initiative. Bisson was the first Program Director at SHAD UNB when the program started there in 1985.
“New Brunswick is showing it is a real leader in Canada, investing in its brightest young people and creating these ties that bind between SHADs and the local New Brunswick innovation ecosystem.”
Bisson offers the example of Fred Bullock, a SHAD Fellow who went to the program in 1985, who has headed up many leading entrepreneurial companies in the information technology world based out of New Brunswick.
Bullock did so after being mentored at SHAD by Gerry Pond one of the province’s leading entrepreneurs in the technology world. They would not have met if not for SHAD.
“We expect and hope to see this same story repeated over and over again through this initiative,” Bisson says.
SHAD www.shad.ca is a Canadian charitable non-profit organization that helps exceptional high school students recognize and envision their full potential as tomorrow’s leaders and change makers. Each year, the SHAD program provides the opportunity for 700 students from across Canada and internationally to attend a transformational month-long summer program at one of 12 Canadian host communities focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). There are currently more than 14,800 SHAD alumni all sharing the Uncommon Purpose of the SHAD experience and able to leverage their SHAD network for life. The SHAD 2016 program will take place from July 3 to 29. Applications for SHAD 2017 summer program will be available in the fall at www.shad.ca
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