Head shot of Rosalind Wilkes

Critics of the incubator process might argue that students are at university to take classes, but anyone who doubts the educational value of GreenHouse would do well to talk with Rosalind Wilkes.

Rosalind, a second-year Public Health student, thought GreenHouse would be a great opportunity for students who wanted to do good with like-minded people – but she wasn’t sure what she might do.

One day, she realized she was already engaged in a project for social good. Rosalind had seen the gaps at UWaterloo for those who have experienced sexual violence. While services are available, they don’t meet the needs of all people. When a friend suggested she might address those gaps, she wasn’t confident in her ability.

Enter GreenHouse. Rosalind spent Fall 2016 at GreenHouse, a term she describes as “the longest and shortest four months of my life.” She appreciated the cross-section of mentors. “I could go to one mentor who shares my passion about sexual violence, but I could learn from others about operating a business.”

Throughout the term, Rosalind’s ideas shifted, based on what she was learning. She continued to feel unready — until her final presentation where she realized the reading, mentorship, and talking with stakeholders had come together in a powerful learning experience.

Rosalind’s education continues on her co-op term working in therapeutic family care, where she has met people dealing with the same issues, and has discovered sometimes projects have to get done, even if they aren’t perfect.

"I’ve realized that even if I only ever held one day of workshops, it would still make a difference,” she says. “I would never have been able to engage with this issue without the lessons, connections, and safe space of GreenHouse.”



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