(CALGARY) 6 March 2017 – After getting robbed by an at-risk youth, a student at Simon Fraser University was inspired to help other disadvantaged young adults by empowering them to work toward a financially secure future. Similarly, the Enactus team at Okanagan College believed that by instilling financial literacy concepts in elementary school students, upon graduation they would be better equipped to deal with the overwhelming realities of adulthood.

Enactus Simon Fraser University and Enactus Okanagan College have been named 2017 Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge Regional Champions. The winning teams were selected by Canada’s largest experiential learning platform, Enactus Canada, and program supporter Scotiabank.

Enactus Simon Fraser’s Count On Me is an 8-week workshop targeting 15-19 year-old young mothers and at-risk youth. It focuses on budgeting, goal setting, banking, resume building, and healthy cooking. By instilling healthy eating habits, participants learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle on a budget. Count On Me has helped young mothers save $36 a week through better meal preparation, with government cheques lasting 2.75 weeks longer. Through Count On Me, 90 youth have been directly impacted.

Using a simulated economy, Enactus Okanagan’s six-week CANSave program teaches elementary school students the fundamentals of financial literacy including budgeting, saving for the future and helping others in need. Since January 2016, CANSave has impacted over 6,000 grade 1-3 students in 91 communities across Canada, with 98 per cent of students successfully completing the program.

“Being a young Canadian today isn’t easy, the youth unemployment rate is almost twice the national average and debt levels are soaring,” said Nicole Almond, President of Enactus Canada. “This challenge empowers students to affect the long-term sustainability of their communities by focusing on youth.”

The Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge encourages post-secondary students to develop and deliver projects that address the needs and opportunities facing youth. Focused on education, learning skills and supporting the life-long success of youth aged 25 and under, this challenge has engaged 3,175 students since 2016, who have impacted more than 15,922 youth through 149 community empowerment projects.

“Scotiabank believes in supporting projects that are committed to helping young people reach their full potential,” said Laurie Stang, Senior Vice President, Prairie Region at Scotiabank. “The Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge is a special competition as young people are inspiring each other to improve their communities and the world around them. Congratulations to the winners of the Challenge, whose inspiring work has shown us just how talented this generation of our future leaders is.”

On March 3, student teams demonstrated their youth empowerment projects to panels of business executives as part of the Enactus Canada Regional Exposition – Western Canada, held in Calgary.

Enactus Simon Fraser and Enactus Okanagan College will now move on to the national level of competition taking place May 9-11 at the 2017 Enactus Canada National Exposition, taking place in Vancouver.

ABOUT ENACTUS CANADA: Enactus Canada, the country’s largest post-secondary experiential learning platform, is shaping entrepreneurial leaders who are passionate about advancing the economic, social and environmental health of Canada. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, more than 2,734 entrepreneurial post-secondary students led 280 community empowerment projects and business ventures last year in communities coast to coast. As a global network of 36 countries, Enactus uses the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. For more information, visit enactus.ca.

ABOUT SCOTIABANK: At Scotiabank, we aim to support organizations that are committed to helping young people reach their full potential. Young people are our future leaders and Scotiabank’s goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success. Together with our employees, the Bank supports causes at a grassroots level. Recognized as a leader for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2016, Scotiabank contributed more than $70 million to help our communities around the world.

Scotiabank is Canada’s international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Asia-Pacific. We are dedicated to helping our 23 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 88,000 employees and assets of $887 billion (as at January 31, 2017), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

Media Inquiries:
Jennifer Falzon
Director, Marketing & Strategic Growth, Enactus Canada
jen@enactus.ca | 416.304.1566 x222 | 416.315.2099