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Mentoring youth

Cape Breton University, Grenfell Campus, sign Indigenous business MOU

By Melanie Callahan

Cape Breton University (CBU) and Grenfell Campus have signed a memorandum of understanding that will deliver a business mentorship program to Indigenous youth.

Grenfell Campus
Photo: Submitted

CBU’s In.Business mentorship program for Indigenous youth was first piloted in Nova Scotia in 2011. Now, Grenfell Campus will deliver a provincial version in this province.

“Students from Newfoundland and Labrador began to participate in the In.Business program in 2014 and, to date, 25 students and mentors have taken part from Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Stephen Augustine, associate vice-president, Indigenous affairs, Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University. “Students need support, advice and experience sharing in order to manage the challenging transition from high school to post-secondary. The In.Business program helps with that.”

‘Meaningful Indigenization’

The program gives students a feel for university campus life, an idea of how a business education can equip them to be successful in the future and builds meaningful connections with mentors.

Practical information is also shared with students around budgeting, financial literacy, time management skills, public speaking skills, research skills and much more.

“More than 20 per cent of Grenfell students are Indigenous,” said Jeff Keshen, vice-president (Grenfell Campus). “The In.Business program is an excellent fit for our campus, and reflects our commitment to pursue meaningful Indigenization. By bringing this program to campus, we are enhancing opportunities for Indigenous youth and strengthening our ties to Indigenous communities.”

In.Business links Indigenous youth in Grades 10-12 with Indigenous business mentors who administer bi-weekly business-based “challenges” that are completed using social media and brings the two groups together twice a year for in-person conferences.

In.Business was designed to teach high school students the career opportunities and types of work you can do with a business education, in hopes they will consider studying business at the post-secondary level.


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