After high school, I chose Sheridan College as my institution of choice. Partially due to the brand new campus' proximity to home, and predominantly due to the fact that I didn't really get accepted anywhere else. As I'm sure you could guess, telling your parents you're going to college for business as opposed to university for medicine wasn't the easiest thing to explain. Needless to say, I was eager to make them proud.
I like to think of Enactus like DECA, but cranked up a couple notches. Case competitions became projects, and hypothetical businesses became real people with real problems. Still running from the high of my perfect case competition senior year of highschool, this club was a no brainer to join. I was making an effort to reinvent myself, and had lost about thirty pounds, grown a beard, and quickly fell into a close knit group of friends. I became increasingly extroverted as time went on. An INTJ to an ENTP, if you were curious. You can imagine how happy I was when a guy name Bryan accosted me in our school's atrium, and asked if I had ever thought about starting a business. He was starting a club, and I would be his first member.
The image above depicts the original four founders of Enactus. We had Bryan (our president), Mykola (the VP of Finance), Dalton (the VP of HR), and me- the Vice President of Marketing. An ironic title to be given to the kid who hadn't even finished Marketing 101. Over the coming weeks, Enactus ballooned from a few friends using "conference calls" as an excuse to get out of class early, to a real club, filled with members looking to make a real difference. And we did. Only a couple years later, we'd find ourselves up on stage being crowned Enactus' Rookie of The Year. How the turntables.
Enactus was an interesting experiment in positive intent. Put together a bunch of good people who had no idea how to run a business, but wanted to make a difference. We found some local charities, and tried to offer some sort of service to them. We weren't sure what exactly that service would be, but between the dozen of us at this point we could easily photoshop, file taxes, give speeches, and network with other business owners in and around the greater Toronto area.
During one of our routine exhaustive brainstorming sessions, the idea was floated to help a local charity out of Niagara Falls. She had been sending "care packages" to kids in Kenya, but the venture was quickly becoming cost prohibitive. We jumped on the project like a moths to a flame. Within a couple months, we had secured a deal to use up some space in an empty shipping crate, and gotten exclusive access to turn the streetlight banners (often advertising shows and city events) to a durable and reusable pencil case, filled by products donated from fellow students. We called it The Essential Pencil.
Things spiraled pretty quickly after that. The founding four members became twelve. Twelve became twenty, and twenty became fifty. By the time I graduated, we had left behind a legacy of founding one of the most popular clubs on campus, and I vowed to never voluntarily wear a suit again. Especially not to school.