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York University and London high school students win “Save the World” challenge

Ontario students responded to CA challenge to think philanthropically

 

TORONTO, March 25, 2011 – Two teams of Ontario students – Alina Popa and Eric (Heejoon) Shin of London’s Oakridge Secondary School and Karen Geng and Seymour Korman of Toronto’s York University - Schulich School of Business – have won the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario’s third annual Save the World contest. These teams had ideas that came out on top in a contest that asked students to come up with business cases for revolutionary ideas for making the world a better place.

In total, there were 16 high school submissions and six from universities. The high school students’ winning idea was EcoOxygen, which involved developing “Green” classrooms with plants to improve air quality in schools, student health and productivity. The winning university submission was Money Tree, a financial literacy program to teach students in Grades 3, 9, and 12 money management and personal finance skills through classroom presentations.

The winners received $10,000, with up to $5,000 going towards making the students’ ideas reality and the extra $5,000 going towards anything the winners care to spend it on.

The entrants were selected by a panel of expert judges – CAs from the world of business and not-for-profits – who evaluated the ideas to see which ones would provide the most ‘bang for the bucks’ in terms of helping the community and saving the world.

“I was most impressed with the level of maturity and the business acumen these students had, even at the high school level – it was amazing!” said Lindsay Colley, CA, a contest judge and Manager, Sustainability & Responsibility Reporting, Tim Hortons. “It’s really encouraging to see a whole generation of people where corporate social responsibility is a core value to them, right from the beginning. I expect big things from not only the winners, but all of the finalists and I’m looking forward to seeing them someday on the covers of magazines.”

"The best part of winning Save the World is the ability to implement our idea and use this money to help our school” said Alina Popa from EcoOxygen. “There will be so many great learning experiences."

"We would like to thank everyone who supported us through this whole process – we’ve been working on Money Tree for six months,” said Seymour Korman from the winning university submission, Money Tree. “Winning Save the World feels amazing! We’re so excited to implement our idea."

Save the World is an important part of the Rule the World student recruitment ad campaign that points out achieving the CA designation can be a valuable first step on the road to personal career success and business conquests. The campaign, launched by the Institute, speaks to students in terms that would capture their attention and help dispel any stereotypes that might still exist regarding the CA profession.

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About the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario:
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is the qualifying and regulatory body of Ontario’s 34,000 Chartered Accountants and 5,000 CA students. Since 1879, the Institute has protected the public interest through the CA profession’s internationally recognized standards of qualification and the enforcement of its rules of professional conduct. Chartered Accountants are the professionals Canada’s business leaders trust to help make the financial, strategic and leadership decisions that matter. The Institute’s website is: www.icao.on.ca and the student website is www.guidetorulingtheworld.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Perry Jensen
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
416-969-4271 or 1-800-387-0735 ext. 271
pjensen@icao.on.ca