What students are dreaming of

Eleanor Roosevelt once said that the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.  It is evident that Canadian students are dreaming big.  Some great examples this year include Nicholas Steele, a York University student who is working to address food waste globally with new freeze-drying technology[1], Branavan Manoranjan, a McMaster University student who won the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award for an innovative treatment for medulloblastoma, a pediatric brain tumor[2], and Justin Yan a Carleton student won a prestigious U.S. architecture award for designing an environmentally friendly transformation of an Ottawa building[3]

 It is amazing to see what can be accomplished when there is space for ambition, and hard work to come together so beautifully.  Supports, resources and financial resiliency can enable that space.  We hosted Finesse Your Finances at York University and learned that in addition big dreams connected to their passions, students are also working on everyday dreams.  Students are working on getting stable jobs in their field, paying off student loans, being able to support themselves, moving out, having a family, and helping their families.  Like everyone else they are working hard to survive in a world where tuition has increased 40%[4] in the last decade, precarious work is on the rise, and minimum wages are far from living wages.

 For me the question becomes, how might we create greater space for more students to dream big? How do we focus our time and efforts on solutions that enable the majority of students to thrive ?


[1] York University News, Student startup Lyofresh Technologies wins $15,000 at World Vision Social Innovation Competition, Retrieved January 7, 2019 from http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2018/08/01/student-startup-lyofresh-technologies-wins-15000-at-world-vision-social-innovation-competition/

[2]McMaster University, Med student wins Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award, Retrieved January 7, 2019 from https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/main/news/news_2018/med_student_wins_Canadian_medical_hall_of_fame_award.html

[3] CBC News, Carleton student wins prestigious U.S. architecture award, Retrieved January 7, 2019 from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/carleton-architecture-student-wins-award-1.4640761

[4] Cain, Patrick.  “University tuition fees in Canada rise 40 percent in a decade”.  Global News, 7 Sept. 2016, Retrieved November 1, 2018 from https://globalnews.ca/news/2924898/university-tuition-fees-rise-40-per-cent-in-a-decade/