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Okanagan College Enactus and Valley First celebrate $100,000 of support
Okanagan College Media Release

Valley First & Enactus March 2018Okanagan College’s Enactus team hosted a ceremony this week to mark a milestone in support from one of the team’s key sponsors.

On Monday, March 26, students from the College’s School of Business recognized Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, for the organization’s numerous contributions and support which this year will reach $100,000 in total since the partnership began three years ago.

“Giving back to our communities and supporting social enterprises like Enactus OC is in Valley First’s DNA,” says Tracy Clark, Marketing & Communications Business Partner for Valley First. “Enactus OC’s values strongly align with ours and it made sense to partner with them and work together to support growth in our shared communities.”

Valley First began its partnership with Enactus OC in early 2016 and provided its initial donation of $10,000 to support one of Enactus’ projects, CANsave – a financial literacy education program. Bolstered by Valley First’s support, that program has grown into a nationally-recognized and award-winning financial literacy program impacting teachers and students in more than 6,000 elementary schools across Canada.

Since its initial donation, Valley First has stepped forward with support for Enactus OC on numerous occasions over the past three years and has agreed to provide up to $35,000 this year.

Valley First’s support has manifested itself in other ways as well. Last year, the organization nominated Enactus OC for the 2017 Concentra Empowering your Community award, which the team went on to win. The award netted the team from OC $10,000 to sustain and continue to grow its initiatives.

“This financial support helps build our sustainability as an entire team and supports us in competitions at the regional, national and worldwide level,” explains Enactus OC President Abbey Jones. “Enactus OC has more than 65 students across all four campuses and this support ensures we can continue to develop our nine projects and programs which truly impact and empower individuals of all ages in our community and nationwide.”

Last year Valley First sponsored 49 different organizations and offers more than just financial support to its partners, Clark points out.

“We don’t just write checks,” explains Clark. “We get involved with all of our partners and projects, as our organization has a strong volunteer culture through a program we offer called LeadWell that encourages all of our staff to share their expertise and knowledge in the community. We are very proud of the work we do and I know many of our staff have enjoyed the opportunity to go into the classroom as part of CANsave and help to increase financial literacy in our communities.”

“Partnerships like this are truly invaluable for Okanagan College students because they allow our students to tap into opportunities to build their skills and apply their knowledge outside of the classroom,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We are grateful to Valley First for supporting our students in making a positive impact in their surrounding communities.”