Grade 11 student Cameron Teasdale of Stratford, Ont. experienced a renewed passion for entrepreneurship after getting hands-on experience with his own start-up.
Teasdale built his own mobile app development company from scratch. He learned code and different business strategies before launching Teasdale Mobile Studios and focusing primarily on mobile game production. One of his apps has been downloaded around the world.
Teasdale dreams of one day operating his own large tech company and looks forward to learning more entrepreneurship and leadership skills alongside other like-minded students at SHAD.
“I think it’s possible for everyone to change the world in some way, be it big or small,” said Teasdale. “I myself hope to use a tech platform to improve people’s lives, perhaps on a small scale by improving day to day interactions between people, or on a global scale, by helping developing countries with technology.”
Coming to Dalhousie for SHAD camp
Teasdale is one of 54 students from across Canada at Dalhousie University this month for the award-winning program SHAD, which takes place at 16 host universities from coast to coast.
Founded in 1980 to help youth reach their full potential, students in grades 10 to 12 are immersed in a one-month enrichment program focused on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The students interact with renowned university faculty and visionary corporate leaders.
In a unique element of the program, students are challenged to come up with an original solution to a societal problem they learn about in the first week. It teaches them about entrepreneurship and innovation and leaves the students seeing how they can make an immediate impact.
“These exceptional students from all parts of Canada spend the month of July together with their peers and mentors. We hope they end the month not only dreaming big, but empowered with the tools and passion they need to take risks, roll up their sleeves and get going,” said SHAD President and CEO Tim Jackson.
Teasdale is also a competitive swimmer at the provincial and national level, often ranking within the top 10 of his age bracket nationally. He coaches swimming, plays guitar, and sings in a choir, all in addition to maintaining an exceptional academic standing. Balancing his time is one of his greatest challenges, choosing to prioritize things that will ultimately help him accomplish his long-term goals. SHAD will do just that.
“I know that I can learn something from everyone I meet. I am excited to see what I can bring to SHAD, and what I can take away from SHAD,” Teasdale said. “After SHAD I am hoping to maintain contact with the people I have met to continue to network and share ideas.”
Pathways into higher education
This sentiment was echoed by grade 12 student Meg Erb of Kingston, Ontario, who is here along with Teasdale and the other. She is one of 14 students attending SHAD this summer thanks to a new partnership between SHAD and Pathways to Education where young leaders from lower income communities are selected to attend the program.
Even though Erb has been published five times as a student author in both large poetry anthologies and local books, she believes her greatest accomplishment has been overcoming anxiety. After noticing her anxiety getting worse, she conducted research on different ways anxiety can be treated and then went to work. Using hemoencephalography, the practice of consciously regulating blood flow to the brain, and other techniques she discovered in her research, Erb was better able to cope with anxiety.
“It took a long time, but somehow, the clouds began to part,” Erb said.
Erb wants to teach English as a second language to new Canadians. She believes that she can change people’s lives this way.
“When my grandparents came to Canada, neither of them spoke English. Because of this, they never really had the true Canadian experience, staying sectored off in the Portuguese community of our small city, working with other people who only spoke Portuguese, or relying on their children to translate,” Erb said. “Even just helping one person would change my own world.”
Having never been very far from Kingston, Erb is excited to see more of Canada.
“This program offers me a chance to try new things and see more than just my backyard and the place I’ve known forever,” she said.
SHAD 2018 commenced July 1 and wraps up on July 27, after which both Teasdale and Erb will join other change makers and top innovators in an impressive network of nearly 17,000 SHAD Fellows, including an NHL hockey executive, a serial entrepreneur on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, a NASA researcher, and a best-selling author.
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