Algar to participate in youth innovation and entrepreneurship program

Summerland student will spend a month at University of New Brunswick this summer

A Summerland Secondary School student is giving up a month of her summer so she can take part in a special program encouraging youth innovation and entrepreneurship.

Trista Algar, a Grade 11 student, was selected from 2,000 applicants as one of 801 high school students that will be taking part in the SHAD enrichment program, which is taking place at 13 host universities across Canada during July.

For Algar, that means packing up her bags and heading to the University of New Brunswick, where she will be living is residence while attending lectures around science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

But practical work plays a big part in the work. Algar said when the program starts, students are presented with a theme or social problem. Their studies revolve around the real world issues and they’re expected to develop an original product or service that addresses the

In the process, they are taught how to build a business plan, marketing plan and working prototype and come away with an entrepreneurial mindset.

“The days are really long, they’re 16 hour days,” said Algar, who attended a different enrichment program at the University of British Columbia, though that one was only for a week.

She’s not concerned, though, about missing out on part of the summer with her friends.

“I’ve got a good group of friends, when I get back I think this will be fun to share with them,” said Algar.

SHAD has been operating since 1980, with nearly 16,000 youth passing through the program, including 32 that went on to earn Rhodes Scholarships.

“Past students rave about the program and how it transforms them. That’s why we’re trying to ensure SHAD is known and available to every eligible student across the country,” said SHAD president Tim Jackson.

Algar admits she is a high-achieving student. That helped her get into the program, but she explained the application process was multi-faceted, delving into not just work in school but activities in the wider community.

“You had to show a creative side as well, to show you are well-rounded student,” said Algar.

SHAD offers bursaries to students with financial need and recently announced a partnership with Pathways to Education to help students from more marginalized communities attend the program.