Conestoga news

May 23, 2023 7:52 AM

Bachelor of Public Relations students raise funds for local youth

Second-year Bachelor of Public Relations students raised $7,500 for charity this past April as part of their Event Management and Project Management courses. The funds will support the Youth Creativity Fund -- a joint effort between three partners that include the Business and Education Partnership of Waterloo Region (BEP), the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce.

Conestoga College - Battle of the bands.jpg
As part of an experiential learning opportunity, Bachelor of Public Relations students hosted events in April to raise funds for the Youth Creativity Fund. Pictured L to R: Professor Dave Barrett, BCM student Tyson Hill, Professor Cheryl Williams, BPR students Gabby Martindale and Lily Braendle, Youth Creativity Fund representatives April Albano, Jennifer Birnstihl and Julie Dreisinger

"This second-year project is the first of several hands-on experiential learning opportunities our students undertake throughout their four-year degree,” said Cheryl Williams, Event Management professor. “By learning in a real-world setting, the students gained valuable experience in planning, budgeting, event design, promotion and media outreach that is much more impactful than learning from a textbook. It's so fulfilling for them to see their efforts pay off in such a meaningful way."

Working in collaboration with BEP, the students hosted three fundraising events: Mug it Up - a pottery painting workshop; Connect. Create. Collaborate - a business networking event at Catalyst; and Battle of the Bands which was held at Maxwell’s Concerts and Events in Waterloo.

"This collaboration -- between two BPR courses and between our degree and our community -- brings project management principles to life in a unique way. Students learn how to manage every detail of a project and how to manage risks and issues that are bound to occur in the real world,” said Dave Barrett, Project Management professor.

The money raised through the students’ fundraising activities will support 15 youth through the Youth Creativity Fund which helps students prepare for the world of work by exploring and experiencing their career options. Through the fund, Waterloo Region students in Grades 5 to 12 can apply for microgrants of up to $1,000 to pursue a creative learning project.

“Our mutual goal is to unlock, find and support the most valuable resource we have, our kids. Together, we are leading the Youth Creativity Fund for Waterloo Region,” explained Jennifer Birnstihl, BEP program manager. “Students across the region will be able to apply for grants of up to $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a group of two or more, in order to help them unlock their ideas, bring their solutions to light, expose the creativity they have, not only to themselves, but to us all."

In September 2023, Conestoga’s Bachelor of Public Relations program will relaunch as the Bachelor of Communications Management.

The Bachelor of Communications Management (Honours) degree is the first of its kind in Canada and is built on the solid foundation of its predecessor program. In this program, students will complete two paid four-month co-op terms to apply their academic learning to the workplace. They will also engage in numerous experiential courses and assignments throughout the degree including planning a fundraising event, participating in a real-client student agency and completing an applied capstone project for a real client.