The world is wide open with opportunity for Graduating Year student Nia.
The confident Head Prefect and world-class public speaker credits her participation in Branksome’s entrepreneurial boot camp, Noodle, for kick-starting her passion for business. She’s now applying to commerce programs in Canada and beyond.
That’s why Nia is such an enthusiastic ambassador for the Innovation Centre and Studio Theatre (iCAST), the future home of Noodle, understanding its value for students and alums alike.
“Noodle was an out-of-classroom experience that gifted me with a new love and appreciation of learning,” says Nia, whose Noodle team landed on an idea to create biodegradable phone cases for Apple users, sold more than 900 units and earned back more than $1,000.
It was an incredible learning experience for Nia to work outside the classroom, she says, amazed at the real-world skills she gained. Building business proposals and marketing plans, then pitching and promoting her company with manufacturers, marketers and web designers taught her how to engage with people from “all walks of life.”
“It’s an important aspect of emotional intelligence that is not that easy to teach in classroom settings,” she says.
Nia is thrilled that iCAST will offer alums and students a space to create prototype designs and mock-ups, allowing autonomy over the design process rather than outsourcing for pre-made products as her team did—a huge advantage, she says. She can also envision returning to iCAST’s auditorium space to teach workshops in public speaking, just as other alums could share niche expertise and use its creative and design applications for their own innovations.
As well, involved in Branksome dance opportunities since Grade 7, Nia is amazed by the performance space that iCAST will offer.
“Students can experience dancing on such a versatile stage and learn how lighting and set design can create an impact on the performance.”
Part of her Branksome training has already given Nia the edge, she says, instilling the Innovator’s Mindset and its solution-based approach to discussion of real-world challenges.
“After high school, I’m eager to focus on issues that challenge society and dream up unique solutions not yet thought about,” she says. “I am eternally grateful to attend a school that supports its students to such an extent that they’re creating a building specialized in public speaking and entrepreneurship. iCAST will be a catalyst to push students and alum forward in their innovation.”