Recent History – 2000
Nov. 15, 2000
DAWSON CREEK — Doris Miedzinski and Kathy Shoemaker came home from a recent trip to Chicago with more than the usual souvenirs.
Respectively a manager and a teacher at the Kiwanis Enterprise Centre, Miedzinski and Shoemaker were presented with a special award while attending the 18th annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum in the Windy City, Nov. 2-5.
They were given plaques embossed with: “Entrepreneurship 101 Award for outstanding leadership in the field of business creativity and entrepreneurship.”
Miedzinski said the award shows just how effective the Enterprise Centre has been at developing young business people. “I think it’s pretty impressive that Dawson Creek is up there with the big guys,” she said.
The award came after Miedzinski, Shoemaker and retired University of Calgary professor Wayne Long gave a presentation.
While Miedzinski and Shoemaker talked about what they do, Long spoke about a survey he did of people who have been the focus of programs at the Enterprise Centre.
Specifically, he looked at those South Peace Secondary School (SPSS) students who’ve taken the Entrepreneurship 11 and 12 programs, and those who’ve participated in the New Venture Program for unemployed youth and/or the Self-Employment Assistance Program for unemployed people who want to start their own businesses.
Long conducted a survey of people who have participated in these programs over 10 years. He wanted to find out how effective the programs have been in helping people get jobs and start up their own businesses.
He found that the survey strongly suggests that the programs helped to instill skills and confidence, not only to be an entrepreneur but to be a good employee.
“They’re better employees because they see the other side of the fence,” Miedzinski said. “They realize what a business person has to go through.”
As a teacher, Shoemaker said that she found through the trip to Chicago that the entrepreneurship programs taught at SPSS seem to be heading in the right direction.
“A lot of them were trying to get across the point that kids should be learning by doing and we already do that,” she said. “So I almost found that I could them more than what they’re telling me.”
She’s also found that the students generally respond well to the hands-on approach.
“They love having the freedom to do more or less what they want to do, with my guidance and a few rules here and there, but very, very few,” she said.