Allie Landy is only in Grade 11 but she will be spending her summer at university in one of this country’s top programs for youth innovation and entrepreneurship.
Landy will be participating in SHAD, the unique and award-winning Canadian enrichment program that has helped develop the raw skills and talents of close to 16,000 youth since 1980.
SHAD has helped produce 32 Rhodes scholars in that time and many other leading innovators and entrepreneurs are part of the SHAD Network including Michele Romanow, a serial entrepreneur and television personality on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Three SHAD alumni – or Fellows as they’re known – are currently advising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of his Government’s Youth Council including Simone Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh says SHAD introduced her for the first time to like-minded, similarly driven youth leaders and helped her see the impact she could have. She believes being part of the SHAD network and creating bonds that last a lifetime is more important than ever for the students and for the country.
Cavanaugh says, “Canada right now is focused on innovation and youth and the best combination of those two things is at SHAD.”
Students live in residence for the month of July at SHAD. They attend lectures and workshops from top faculty focused around science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Experiential learning is also a big part of SHAD.
Students are presented with a theme or social problem every summer which they learn at the beginning of the program. They have to devise an original product or service that addresses this real world, complex issue. In the process, they are taught how to build a business plan, marketing plan and working prototype and come away with an entrepreneurial mindset.
For the third straight year, SHAD had a record number of applications and a waiting list for coveted positions in the program. The students are selected for SHAD after an intense competition which includes examining students’ extracurricular activities and the work they are doing in their communities and beyond to make a difference.