Partner Stories
Money. It’s a core necessity, it’s connected to everything we think of or do. For many of us, money comes into play when we are young. It could be coins taped in a birthday card from a favorite relative or allowance for doing chores. Money was the reward, the driver, but after we got that reward, no one told us what to do with it. As a kid, it was up to us – candy, stickers, books, hot wheels, the possibilities were endless. However, all good things must end… or do they?  

At Conexus, we are tackling the “money talk” with all ages, and the best part: we are doing it together with community organizations across Saskatchewan who share the same passion – educating and empowering people with financial literacy. Over the next few months, we plan to spotlight some of our partners and share how we are having the #moneytalk to educate and invest in the financial well-being of our youth.

WHL/SJHL Financial Literacy Partnership Expand/Collapse

“If I’d known then what I know now….” many people uttered these words.  Have you ever thought about how you learned to do most things?   Someone probably taught you – a parent, a teacher, a friend, google.  What about your personal finances?  Seems like this is one subject that missed the draft in our schools curriculum and our parents list of “the talks”. 

At Conexus, we decided to do something about it.  We put on our helmets and did some brainstorming.  With our shared commitment to the communities, we decided to approach our local WHL and SJHL teams with a new partnership program idea.  The Saskatoon Blades was the first team we shot the idea at. They agreed and in 2015, we crashed the net and launched a pilot financial literacy program in elementary schools in Saskatoon.  

Our program included sharing our knowledge and experiences on

•    the difference between “wants & needs
•    how to handle finances  
•    importance of saving
•    importance of setting short and long-term goals

To cap it off we presented a $1000 RESP to one of the student participants.

The engagement and positive feedback we received from the students and the teachers after these sessions was phenomenal.  Our Conexus staff didn’t stop there, in 2016, we partnered with the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Prince Albert Raiders with the La Ronge Ice Wolves and Humboldt Broncos rounding out the league.  Over 50 schools and 1500 kids have now been taught basic financial literacy and $8000 in RESP’s have been given to students.  Score!!


Joe’s Place Youth Centre Expand/Collapse

How does one’s vision of creating Saskatchewan’s Largest Chem-Free New Year’s Eve party for over 500 teens become reality? You start with inviting like-minded community organizations; do a lot of thinking; involve the kids; enlist the help of great sponsors, source over a hundred volunteers,  add a passionate leader and voila– Voltage is born!

For us, it is not so much the party itself but it’s what goes on behind the scenes that is so amazing and that is why Conexus got involved.  

Over the years, kids at Joe’s Place Youth Centre have become more and more involved in Voltage. Youth are given opportunities to grow, learn and apply work and life skills like:

Creative thinking, problem solving, innovative

•    Brainstorming to come up with a theme
•    what to build – fabrication of props and costumes
•    how to build it – what and where to get supplies

Self Confidence

•    over 50 kids are involved in the cast – takes a lot of guts to get up in front of your peers

Technical skills, communication skills

•    teens video and audio record the event

Budgeting

•    only have so much money to work with to put on this impressive event

Leadership

•    stepping up and taking ownership from planning, set-up, running and yes, clean up

Teamwork

•    Mentors, youth and volunteers put in endless hours to make it a very successful initiative

Entrepreneurship

•    Through this endeavor, youth have created a small company – Joe’s Place Media Alliance.  Did I mention they released their first movie with a red carpet premiere evening?  Paparazzi invited of course.  

Check out the Voltage Unchained movie.  You will be astounded by what these kids have accomplished and Conexus is proud to have played a part in it.  


Ignite Expand/Collapse

Have you ever been a part of something bigger than you that made a difference in someone else’s life?  That’s the way our partnership with Ignite makes us feel at Conexus.  

Conexus has been partnering with Ignite on adult education since 2013.  Ignite is a not-for-profit community employer. The program they offer is unique in that the students are the employees and their job is to learn.  Ignite helps young “at risk” gain the education, experience and skill that will lead to employment and/or further post-secondary training. The program includes

  • 32 weeks of in-house work
  • 11 weeks of apprenticeship with a 3rd party employer
that’s where Conexus comes in.  In years past, Conexus would have just stroked a cheque.  Today, our staff are volunteering to share their expertise.  This not only assists the students but together this partnership expands everyone’s learning and development by building and strengthening

  • self-confidence
  • leadership skills
  • public speaking abilities
  • communication skills and
  • teamwork
Ignite is assisting these young adults to make huge strides toward their future success and moving them away from patterns of unemployment and negativity.  May I add they are doing it quite well, here are some stats:

  • an average success rate of 75% of the students completing the program
  • 70% of these young adults obtaining employment or continuing with their post-secondary education.   Wow!!  
Saskatchewan’s labour force is constantly changing and the need for adaptable, skills based employees is only going to continue to grow.  Conexus is proud to join forces with Ignite to change lives by teaching business and entrepreneurial skills to create successful financially well individuals and families.  

Enough about us. Let’s listen to a few of the students, who have embraced this opportunity provided by Ignite with a little help from their friends.


 
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