Four student groups from UNB’s Renaissance College are in the running for a $50,000 prize for their public awareness campaigns about how charities ensure, improve and reflect the quality of life in Canada.   

The contest, called Students (Verb) Charities is open to post-secondary students between the ages of 18-35 across Canada and is sponsored by Imagine Canada and the Muttart Foundation.

Rebecca Randell, a first year student enrolled in the Renaissance College leadership program, and her team came up with the idea to spread the word about the Canadian charitable sector through a poster campaign and are currently in the process of creating a video to go along with it.

“The theme of our posters is ‘Time to Realize’ and features 12 different posters with a clock on each one, with a different time showing,” said Randell. “Each poster contains a fact that is easy to relate to in the hopes that people will read them and understand more of how the charitable sector plays a role in the lives of every Canadian.”

Students submitted their ideas as part of their course study in collaboration with the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.

“This is a great opportunity for students and has shown Renaissance College’s potential to bridge the gaps between education in the classroom and real world issues and opportunities,” said Ted Needham, dean of Renaissance College. “As well, this project has provided a great opportunity to explore the power of cross-institutional projects.”

Tiffarah Gossman, also a first-year student enrolled in the Renaissance College leadership program, says the $50,000 financial incentive would definitely help with the cost associated with obtaining a degree, but it wasn’t the main reason for getting involved.

“We strongly believe that the idea we have presented to the contest is one that can increase the Canadian public’s awareness about the charitable sector in Canada,” said Gossman.  “After many hours of research, as a group, we came to realize how NGOs do in fact ensure, improve, and reflect the quality of life in Canada; however, something needs to be done to increase the general public’s awareness of their relevance as well.”

Gossman’s team came up with the Ready, Set, N’GO campaign to increase the general public’s awareness of the charitable sector by distributing free advertising material to Canadian NGOs – including a poster, flyer, and banner designs as well as any other material that they have the financial means to include.

The four teams who were named finalists in the Student (Verb) Charity contest are:

Gillian Smith, Tess Page, Cameron Paul and Richelle Martin from Renaissance College and Melanie McEwan from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design;

Maclean Boyd, Andie McDonald, Alysha McGratton, Blair Doolaege, Anna McLean from RC and Drew Wallace and Charles Harding from NBCCD;

Carissa Boer, Phillip Sexton, Tiffarah Gosman, Devin Patterson, from RC and Karrie Nash from NBCCD;

Hilary Swan, Katie MacLellan, Rebecca Randell, Elizabeth Sergeant and Anastasiya Zotova from RC and Lauren Polchies from NBCCD.

Winners will be announced in June. For media interview requests, contact Natasha Ashfield.