Trial Online Event Proves Students Are Still Eager to Explore Careers Remotely
May 29, 2020 – Despite having to cancel in-person career discovery events due to COVID-19, non-profit Build a Dream was determined to go forward with plans to reach young women across Canada and introduce them to careers where females are under-represented. Not knowing if students and parents would be interested in an online version of the popular in-person expos, Build a Dream worked with EllisDon, NextDimension, and Cisco Canada to put on a digital expo as a trial. On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, organizers of the online #DreamHomeEdition expo discovered that not only are families interested in exploring remotely, they have many questions to ask.
Build a Dream President & Founder, Nour Hachem-Fawaz felt energized by the expo’s success, “Our event was filled with inspiring speakers who shared advice and cheered on the audience. We were overwhelmed with questions from the families…it shows the need for what we do. There’s so much interest out there to explore these opportunities and make informed career decisions, and we have to get creative in delivering that information to as many young women as possible.”
The sold-out evening started with greetings from Monte McNaughton, the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development who congratulated Build a Dream on adapting their program. He then encouraged the audience to dream big, “Ontario’s future is truly in all of your hands. If you succeed, we all succeed.”
Minister McNaughton was followed by Cisco Canada’s CEO, Rola Dagher, a champion for women in tech. Dagher said that with all of the vacant technology jobs there are so many opportunities out there and young women should start exploring different tech and varied careers, “Have your curiosity drive your dreams.”
The evening also featured a panel of Dream Makers who shared benefits about their careers, including Olympic athlete Melissa Bishop, and teen inventor Riya Karumanchi. Other sessions included a panel that highlighted many skill-building options available to high school students (including FIRST Robotics and youth apprenticeship), and representatives from university and college describing what students should consider for their post-secondary education. Games rounded out the evening and along with many prizes from female-owned businesses, two lucky students also ended up winning a tablet.
The response? “Amazing!” “It gave me confidence.” “It’s shown me more opportunities.” “I didn’t know that some of these people, their jobs, and their impacts had already existed.”
Build a Dream has been seeing a pattern with many of the questions asked at events and has created a guide for families called Navigating Career Planning. A preview of the $29.99 guide has been made available to expo participants who will also receive the full guide for free when it is released in June. Families who missed the event can sign up for access to valuable tools like these at webuildadream.com/subscribe
About Build a Dream
Build a Dream is a powerful initiative that attracts, encourages, and empowers female students to pursue careers in skilled trades, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), emergency response, and entrepreneurship. Build a Dream holds hands-on learning camps for girls, spotlights female mentors, and offers free interactive career expos for parents and young women. The non-profit organization is also a catalyst in workforce development, working closely with industry to create diverse and inclusive working environments.
About the Speakers
Full bios on all of the speakers from Build a Dream’s #DreamHomeEdition can be found here: https://www.discover.webuildadream.com/speakers/
About Nour Hachem-Fawaz, President & Founder, Build a Dream
Nour draws on 13 years of experience as a workforce advisor, mentor, and influencer to inspire youth to make informed career choices that challenge the status quo. She has traveled across Canada to speak to education and industry about workforce development and recruiting women in male-dominated careers. Nour was also chosen to lead a national research project with AIA Canada to develop a nationwide strategy to help attract, recruit, retain, and advance women in the automotive industry. Her ability to connect with audiences and provide insight allows individuals to reassess their approach to careers. Nour’s outreach and advocacy has resulted in numerous awards including the University of Windsor’s Alumni Association “Odyssey Award”, the Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST) “Innovation Award”, and the Leadership Windsor Essex “Alumni Award of Distinction”. Nour holds a B.A. in Business, is Leadership-certified by the Coady Institute Canadian Women’s Foundation, and just completed her Professional MBA.
For more information about Build a Dream, please contact:
Nour Hachem, Founder/President, Build a Dream