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TDSB Students Win at SAGE

TDSB Students Win at SAGE

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Teams filled with inspired students from John Polanyi CI and SATEC@WAPorter CI have won the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) National Competition showcasing their endless work involving social entrepreneurship in the Toronto community. For John Polanyi, it was another win for a second year running and a first for SATEC @ WA Porter.

SAGE connects secondary school students with university and college students, business leaders and civic leaders to promote youth entrepreneurship and community service. Economic opportunities are encouraged in the context of ethical business practices, social responsibility, civic engagement and environmental awareness.

JPCI’s student driven team, called The C.I.T.Y ‘Change Impacting Toronto’s Youth’, not only continued their fundraising efforts from last year, but expanded the business plan to add more members, and more projects. One of their major projects was called ‘Warm Up For Winter’ where students fundraised more than $1250 to create 120 kits, which included toques, socks, scarves, gloves, and other needed gear for those living on Toronto’s streets during the winter months. The group then spent a full day volunteering at the Native Men’s Residence cooking lunch for residents, and then travelling all over downtown handing out kits. A second project involved raising funds for the victims of Nepal, where a remarkable $1500 was raised in just 45 minutes.

The ‘Stalk Market’ is a major initiative revolving around Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Shares in the garden were sold to individuals throughout the community to provide seed money for an urban farm, which is located around the field on school property and was pioneered through a non-profit organization called the PACT Program. Members purchased shares for both Spring and Fall harvests through a massive sales campaign and will ultimately benefit from the delicious and organic harvest from the urban farm. 

“The beauty in this project is that every bag purchased will be matched and distributed throughout our Lawrence Heights Community and 100% of funds raised will be reinvested back into our urban farm,” said Teacher Rahim Essabhai. “We are extremely proud and impressed by the work of our students, and hope they continue to find ways to utilize their passions of social entrepreneurship to fuel their action for positive change.”

The C.I.T.Y presented the team’s successes in the Social Entrepreneurship Business (SEB) category of the SAGE competition. As a direct result of the passion for their community service, the judging panel made up of representatives from Corporate Canada awarded first place in the SEB Category to JPCI for the second year in a row. 

“It’s a really amazing feeling to know that our efforts throughout the school year are being recognized once again,” said student Savannah. “The SAGE experience has changed my life forever and made me a more globally aware individual.” 


SAGE was brought to SATEC by students looking for a way to apply the knowledge gained in class to real life experience.  Last Fall, students started up Limitless Co. as their Socially Responsible Business with a vision to provide a canvas for individuals to express their voice within the school and community. Pin back buttons were chosen to be their first canvas to express identity, passions, and awareness to those things most important to students.


Among the pin-back buttons sold, others included buttons of flags, hobbies and sports and student clubs such as Unicef@Porter with a message to raise awareness about social justice and special events, totalling more than 1000 buttons sold. However, it was SATEC's stellar presentation of this vision that helped them earn SAGE's National Championship in the Socially Responsible Category.


"The SAGE competition was more than just a competition. We were able to build our entrepreneurial skills while trying to make a global impact. It was a life changing experience for me that will not be forgotten," commented SATEC student Deep.


"Competing in the SAGE competition was a valuable experience. It not only helped build our entrepreneurial skills, but it also taught us what is needed to create and operate a successful business in the future," added SATEC student Aikeda.

As winners of the National Competition, the teams have been invited to the SAGE International World Cup Competition which will be held in Seoul, South Korea in August 2015. 

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