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Inaugural province-wide competition encourages leadership and positive world change among B.C.’s tourism students

January 25, 2012
Morgan Westcott, LinkBC

‘Project Change’ winners to be announced February 2 in Vancouver Convention Centre ceremony

(Vancouver, B.C .)–Tourism students from across British Columbia will be honoured for their contributions to Project Change, a competition encouraging leadership and positive world change. The February 2awards ceremony at the Vancouver Convention Centre will see these future leaders receive more than $6,000 in cash and prize equivalents for creating positive change in their communities.

Project Change is a simple, yet impactful competition. Working in groups, students identify a community need, and then create a social or environmental stewardship project to address the issue. What began as a single class project in 2009 is now a province-wide competition that has the power to influence real change within communities, and help develop important leadership skills within students.

Coordinated through LinkBC: the tourism education network, the 2011 competition elicited 18 submissions from seven universities and colleges across the province.

“The results have been impressive,” says LinkBC’s Morgan Westcott, competition coordinator. “The original Project Change began as a class at Capilano University and through our network went province-wide to include Camosun College, Douglas College, Native Education College, North Island College, Royal Roads University, and the University of Northern BC.”

As a result of the projects implemented by the students, 2011 Project Change results included:

  • 99 meals served to the homeless
  • Over 2,000 pieces of clothing, shoes, and coats collected for those in need
  • $1,875 in cash donations
  • 18 lives saved in blood donations
  • 10,000 invasive plants removed from a national historic site
  • 341 litres of rainwater collected
  • 471 pounds of waste composted
  • 211 pounds of waste analysed for future waste reduction programs
  • Over 500 community members reached in various environmental and social awareness campaigns

“These results demonstrate that tourism students can be the agents for positive, ongoing change in their communities,” says Westcott. “Also impressive was the tourism industry support for this first-ever competition,” she adds. “Our sponsors contributed cash and prizes valued at over $6,000.”

Prizes will be distributed to the winning teams on February 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of sponsors and representation from the NGO community.

For further information about Project Change, please visit www.projectchange.ca.

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Media Note: To attend the awards event, or for more information, please contact:
Morgan Westcott, LinkBC



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