Fleming’s Enactus team marches on through the pandemic

Enactus Fleming team at the last World Cup in California

Peterborough ON – April 13, 2021

Enactus Fleming College has been on a roll the past two years and has been representing Fleming with distinction on the regional, national and global stages.

Enactus is a student-led volunteer group that develops entrepreneurial projects to help communities achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). Students devise and execute social enterprises, present their projects in high level competitions, and have travelled to the Enactus World Cup in California twice as part of team Canada. 

Some of the current projects address financial literacy, stress management, health and wellness, making the UNSDG a part of the Ontario school curriculum, helping farmers in India reduce their environmental footprint while making extra income, and making reusable products from recycled paper.

Last fall, Enactus Fleming projects were recipients of four grants to add to their list of achievements:

  • Paper Planet was awarded a $2,500 grant as part of the Scotiabank Climate Action Project Accelerator
  • Paddy Waste to Income was awarded a $2,500 grant as part of The Jeanne Sauvé Global Project Accelerator
  • Keys To Me was awarded a $2,500 grant as part of the Co-operators Accelerator 
  • A $1,500 Faculty Support grant was awarded to support and encourage the team

Enactus Fleming is poised to launch its first commercially viable social enterprise born from the Paper Planet project. They have two product lines: one directed at teachers to be used in the classroom and one directed to home users. Their research shows there is a strong market for these products. However, a major constraint is manufacturing and they are actively looking for a new location since production at the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre is currently not possible. Limited production is being done at student’s homes for the time being.

When the pandemic hit, Enactus students were getting ready to go into their first season of commercial sales with the school kits. When schools were initially closed during the pandemic restrictions, Enactus students came up with a kit targeted to children and parents who were confined to their homes. Sales were a small fraction of the original projections and as a result, they now have two product lines to hit the market within 2021.

If you’re looking for an example of how students can pivot during COVID-19 with resilience and innovation, this is it. Enactus Fleming adds value to the student experience and enhances the College’s reputation in the community. To learn more, please visit: https://enactusfleming.ca/.

Ecosystem management graduate hopes to inspire others to take action against pollution through new documentary

Peterborough ON – (March 31, 2021) – Rochelle Byrne graduated from Fleming’s Ecosystem Management Technology program in 2012. Two years later, she started a not-for-profit organization called A Greener Future, which focuses on litter cleanup and prevention.

“Right from the beginning, when I started A Greener Future, the people that were supporting me most were people that I had met in school, that had the same mindset about the environment,” said Byrne.

As a non-profit organization, A Greener Future works with the community to promote environmental preservation through organized litter cleanups, educational programs and events.  

Byrne says her time in Fleming’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences ignited her passion for the environment and curiosity to learn more. “I learned to keep researching and how to stay up to date when it comes to new things in the environment and the actions we need to take.”

Everything changed in 2020, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down any form of social gatherings. Undeterred, Byrne got more creative and adventurous. She decided to take on the endurance challenge of stand-up paddleboarding 430 kilometres across Lake Ontario to raise awareness about plastic pollution along the shoreline.

What she hoped would be a short video of her journey, has turned into a 45-minute documentary titled Shoreline: The Paddle Against Plastic.

“There is so much to say about plastic pollution and the environment, and all the things that we can do to help make it better,” said Byrne. “I’m excited that we get to reach more people through this medium because I think it’s an important topic and not something that everybody’s aware of.”

Since announcing the documentary project, Byrne has gained a new following and a lot of coverage for her cause.

“All of us appreciate Lake Ontario and if it ends up highly polluted, it will not be good for surfers, paddleboarders, boaters, or swimmers, so I think it’s really important that we all come together,” said Byrne.

With the release of Shoreline, she hopes to raise awareness and inspire others to get involved, whether it be through joining a litter cleanup or making a donation to an environmental cause.

“All that matters is that everyone is doing their part.”

The advanced virtual screening of Shoreline is on April 1 at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Byrne. Tickets are on sale now with all funds raised going towards A Greener Future’s Love Your Lake program, comprising 100 organized litter cleanups along Lake Ontario.

To learn more about how you can get involved, please visit A Greener Future’s website.

Fleming’s DSW students receive COVID-19 vaccine and what they want you to know about it

Peterborough ON – (March 26, 2021) – Students in Fleming’s Developmental Services Worker program have the opportunity to make a difference every day by providing practical and meaningful support to those in need. But doing that important work has been challenging during the pandemic.  

For fourth-semester students Shweta Gondalia, Swany Kaji and Natasha Maurik, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine gave them the assurance to continue to protect and provide safe and meaningful care to the community.   

Q: When did you get the vaccine?  

Shweta: I received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 4, 2021.
Swany: I received the vaccine on March 17. 
Natasha: I received my vaccine on March 18.  

Q: Why did you want to get the vaccine?  

Shweta: I am currently working in Stewart Homes, a residential setting for children with developmental disabilities. I wanted to get the vaccine to keep the ones I work with safe. Children with developmental disabilities are vulnerable, and I wanted to be there for them. Their safety and protection are my priority.   
Swany: I work at a long-term care facility, and the residents are vulnerable to this virus. In order to minimize their risk, I got vaccinated.  
Natasha: I wanted to get the vaccine to keep the people I support safe, as well as my friends and family. It also ensures my safety, but the people I support, and my loved ones, always come first.   

Q: How will getting the shot help you in your studies and work?  

Shweta: By getting the vaccine, I will keep myself and the individuals I support safe and healthy. During these challenging times, I feel proud to have gotten my first dose of the vaccine and do my part for the community as a frontline worker. 
Swany: It will help me have peace of mind every time I go to work. Even if I have the common flu or the cold, I had to get tested. With the vaccine, I will be able to work without affecting the people around me.  
Natasha: As a healthcare worker, my duties are to ensure the safety and good quality of life for the people I support. With the world’s current circumstances, it’s the next step to getting society back to what it was before.  

Q: What do you want people to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine?  

Shweta: I know there is a lot of confusion and fear around taking the vaccine. I was scared, but I also believe that reading more about the vaccine from a valid source helped me. We all should trust the facts instead of myths at this hour. Let us all do what we can in keeping ourselves and our communities safe by taking the vaccine. 
Swany: It is a quick and easy process to get and doesn’t hurt at all. They keep you under observation for 15 minutes after you have taken the vaccine. You might have symptoms like body pain, redness and swelling at the site for a day or two, but it all goes away within a few days.  
Natasha: I want people to know that the COVID-19 vaccine is used to help your body build immunity to the virus. If you were to contract it, the symptoms and illness would be less severe than in other cases. It can be scary thinking about getting a vaccine that came out superfast, but this is necessary to keep people safe and get society back to normal.