When I applied to the University of Waterloo I had done my research, visited campus and followed the gut feeling that told me this school was the right one for me. Once my acceptance letter came I felt apprehensive, but from day one it was a thrill to be immersed into a culture full of bright ideas and talented people who had the drive to push innovation forward. Following graduation, I left with the confidence knowing that I had a quality education, amazing co-op experiences and a strong community behind me to support any path I would take.
Launching into a career though, was no easy feat. I knew I wanted to work in a start-up where I could wear many hats, and after five years of studying Environment and Business, I also yearned to become a catalyst for positive change. While networking, I was told of a company that was well suited to my interests. I seized the opportunity and applied for a position. Soon after, I began working at Zerofootprint, a start-up in Toronto that is developing a currency called GOODcoins. Through this program members are awarded with people and planet friendly products for their evidence-based good actions.
What are good actions? Well, when people exercise daily they are doing something positive for themselves, their family and their surrounding community and for that they should be rewarded. It is rewarding for me too, especially when members come back saying they have lost 15 pounds or that the program has gotten their entire family off of the couch.
In January GOODcoins was a part of The Play Exchange, a national competition to find and support creative ideas that inspire Canadians to adopt healthier lifestyles. The Play Exchange is a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Tire, LIFT Philanthropy Partners, and CBC. From over 400 ideas submitted, GOODcoins was selected as one of six finalists and was in the running to win $1 million in funding. Although we did not win, it was fun to be apart of the CBC special and felt incredible to receive the flood of support from family, friends and people across Canada.
Thinking back, the years spent at Waterloo are the reason I can now step outside of my comfort zone and make ambitious goals. No matter what I do or where I go, I will always strive to be in a room full of bright ideas, talented people and have the drive to push innovation forward.