On February 1, 2019 YouLaunch, in partnership with the Algoma University Experiential Learning Hub, launched the eight-week ICT Website Development Bootcamp. Twelve Algoma University students from various backgrounds including Marketing, Accounting, Computer Science and Business Administration were selected to create a website for Therapeutic Ride Algoma (TRA).
“The Website Development Bootcamp is an amazing opportunity for Algoma University students to gain hands-on experience in an authentic work setting,” said Dawn White, Director, Program Quality and Experiential Learning. “Students from all different disciplines are working together bringing a diverse set of skills and expertise to assist a local non-profit. This project is a result of a strong partnership between the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and Algoma University, as well as a shared commitment to skill development and career preparedness for university students through the Career Link program.”
These 12 students were broken up into three mock business organizations: ‘Jamp’, ‘TMZ Solutions’ and ‘Coconut Tree.’ Under the mentorship of Jeff Greco, President of Cavera Inc., the students learned the various steps involved in creating a website for an organization. The groups met every Friday for three hours at The Accelerator Hub to work on their websites.
TRA is a non-profit organization serving the Algoma region in providing the benefits of horseback riding to individuals in our community who live with a disability. Helping individuals with both cognitive and physical disabilities, they currently have a complement of riders ranging in age from 6 to 65 years young and live with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and stroke. These riders develop confidence and strengthen their bodies as well as their minds as they bond with the horses and volunteers, all the while creating memories and a sense of accomplishment that is theirs alone. With no existing website, TRA was selected to be the recipient of this competition.
“The Website Development Bootcamp is one example of the amazing opportunities available to Algoma University students as a result of the partnership between Algoma University and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre,” said Asima Vezina, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Career preparedness is about applying knowledge and creating solutions to real-world challenges using skills such as team work, entrepreneurial thinking, creativity, and innovation. I look forward to continued collaboration with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre on experiential learning opportunities for students, and programming to support youth entrepreneurship in alignment with our strategic institutional priorities. We also want to recognize the generous support of the Province of Ontario through its Career Ready Fund.”
“The Career Link Bootcamp has been such a positive experience. Everything from the efforts of those who organized it, Algoma U’s commitment, and the students who show up ready to learn these valuable skills. The decision to host this bootcamp off-campus in the Accelerator Hub in downtown Sault Ste Marie has allowed the students to experience learning while being exposed to the energy and hustle of the workplace. As an employer, I hope programs like this continue to be developed,” said Jeff Greco, mentor of the Bootcamp.
On March 22, 2019 the teams made their final presentations to Therapeutic Ride Algoma at Algoma University. TRA’s Board members weighed in the strengths and weaknesses from all the websites and made their final decision.
The winning team was Coconut Tree, comprised of Mustafa Abdul Razaq (Computer Science), Amanda Anderson (Computer Science), Brandon Koskitalo (BBA, Accounting) and Minjie Piao (Business Marketing). The other teams put in so much effort to create such professional websites that TRA requested to have all three teams sit together and create one master website for them.
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the website: https://tralgoma.org/