By: Seher Sarin, Sprout Camp Mentor OCAD
My journey with TakingITGlobal and the Sprout Ideas Camp began during the July of 2015. I had attended numerous entrepreneurship camps previously; however, what made Sprout Ideas Camp unlike any other was being able to come up with an idea but also work towards putting that idea into action! Often we are made aware of the plethora of social issues around us but do not feel like we have the power make a change in the world. The Sprout Ideas Camp consists of multiple free week long sessions throughout the summer. The camp provides high school students with the remarkable experience of working with a team to first identify a social issue that they’re passionate about and then use the design-thinking process to formulate a prototype solution.
The first Sprout Ideas Camp as a participant was an unforgettable experience for me. Yet my journey didn’t end there. This past January I was extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be one of the six panelists for the Sprouts Ideas Jam. I talked about social innovation and my experience at the camp last summer. It was great to see how the camp had positively impacted the lives of many others and how it had made all of us more confident in our ideas and ourselves.
This summer I was able to return to the Sprouts Ideas camp at OCAD University, the place where my journey had started exactly one year previous. This time as a Sprout Ideas Alumni Mentor. It was great to be back to share my experiences with the new campers and to provide them with feedback and support towards the creation of their own projects. I think what makes the Sprout Ideas Camp unique is the diversity of ideas and products that each team creates. The highlight of the camp for me is being able to follow each team’s journey through the entire process. From coming up with and choosing a social issue on the first day to formally presenting a solution to a panel of judges on the very last day.
The Sprouts Ideas Camp definitely teaches you to look at the world with a new set of eyes. It provides youth with a platform to make their ideas come to life. I have definitely taken a lot from my experiences as a Sprout camper, panelist and mentor and will definitely be applying all of the new knowledge and skills that I gained from this opportunity to my future endeavors!