Rick Hansen Secondary wins business challenge

Abbotsford school participates in Co-ops in Schools Program

Rick Hansen Secondary teacher Michelle Myers (left) is joined by students Jessica Daveshar

Rick Hansen Secondary teacher Michelle Myers (left) is joined by students Jessica Daveshar

Rick Hansen Secondary in Abbotsford is the winner of a competition held by the BC Co-operative Association’s new Co-ops in Schools (CIS) Program.

The CIS youth outreach program takes place throughout the school year in selected regions of B.C.

It uses a “tri-mentorship” model to link the co-operative business sector with universities and high schools to raise awareness around the co-operative economy and provide youth with professional development opportunities as well as career insight and practical skills and knowledge.

CIS also gives professionals working in the co-operative sector the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience by engaging them as mentors to university students. In turn, the post-secondary “mentees” share what they are learning with high school students through extra-curricular Co-op Clubs.

A highlight of the program is the Case Co-opetition, in which Co-op Clubs across the province select from a list of real cases submitted by B.C. co-ops and credit unions and develop the best alternative to solve a business challenge.

Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Secondary team chose the Wood Shop Workers Co-op as the focus of their entry.

The co-op was looking for ways to grow revenue while maintaining their commitment to social and economic justice.

The Abbotsford team won first place in the challenge, in addition to receiving the “Think Outside the Box” award.

The team was made up of students Jessica Daveshar, Amanjot Dhaliwal and Manjot Dhaliwal, and guided by Michelle Myers (the school’s career programs facilitator).

They were coached by University of the Fraser Valley business students Katherine Levett, Sundeep Johal, Michelle Ndizeye, Nicole Noort and Caitlin O’Donaghue.

Regional program sponsor Prospera Credit Union provided mentorship support to the UFV students.