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Odette building
Dillon Hall

Odette Students - Changing the Odds Project

Students from the Odette School of Business are dedicating their time to engage youth in financial literacy this summer. Changing the Odds (CTO) is a 6-week project that combines the faculties of business and the arts to empower youth in financial literacy and self confidence.

This summer, teens between the ages of 13-18 are being taught financial literacy in an interactive way. The goal is the for the students to create a real micro-business with the guidance of the business mentors, Cattrina Crosby and Michael Diana. The program focuses on a sustainable approach to business by promoting the “Four R’s”, reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair. Using this approach, students must develop a product that will succeed in the market.

The topics covered in the program include entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, marketing, financial literacy, and business sustainability. Through the help of WFCU Credit Union, participants are able to open up their own bank accounts. Many of the students participating in the CTO program grow up in varying, and sometimes difficult circumstances. CTO empowers these youth to overcome these obstacles through leadership and arts training - truly changing the odds. The goal for the summer is for the micro-business to financially sustain the CTO program for the future, acting as a social enterprise.

The business students involved are part of Enactus Windsor, a student run organization that strives to empower individuals in the community to make a positive change through entrepreneurial action. Enactus enables the progress of student leaders and establishes sustainable projects, while providing economic opportunity to not only citizens of Windsor-Essex, but around the world!

“If financial literacy is taught and understood at a young age, young people will be better prepared financially when they grow up. Budgeting, saving, and handling debt is crucial for young people to understand.” says Josh Nicholas, one of the Project Managers of Youthrive, a project run by Enactus Windsor.

Youthrive is an award winning 10-week mentorship program that focuses on three main pillars - financial literacy, environmental sustainability, and entrepreneurship. This program teaches students in high-schools and grade-schools how to create their own micro-businesses.

Youthrive recently earned top honours in the 2017 Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge at the Enactus Canada National Exposition in Vancouver which featured delegates from 68 universities and colleges across Canada. By partnering with the CTO program, Youthrive is further improving the lives of youth in Windsor and Essex County.

This unique collaboration between disciplines is one of the many ways University of Windsor students are creating an impact in their community.