A Brandon student was named Innovator of the Year along with her team of 34 students from across Canada.
After spending last summer at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Karen Cuadros, a Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey High School, found out last week her team had won SHAD’s John Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup.
SHAD is a registered charity that focuses on exceptional high school students, helping them recognize their capabilities and realize their potential as the leaders of tomorrow.
"I was really surprised," Cuadros said. "We all worked very hard on this. We were very focused on it and wanted to make it really good, but we were up against people who were also very hard-working."
The team worked to come up with a business that would tackle the food security problem in Canada, Cuadros said.
They created Farms2Forks, an online grocery service utilizing local products.
"Families could create an account and select what food to purchase, and that food was grown by farmers in that region. We were the portal between the farmer and the family," Cuadros said. "Once all the purchases were made, 30 per cent would go to people with lower income in the form of food."
The team reached out to hundreds of small-scale farmers and processors around the country and received feedback from several prominent business and political leaders, who encouraged them that Farms2Forks could be a viable business.
The research and hard work paid off.
"There were eight categories (overall) and we won four out of the eight," Cuadros said.
Being only one of two Manitoba students at SHAD, Cuadros said she hopes more students apply to take part in the future.
"SHAD was amazing, every single day was packed with activities … They taught us how to think in different ways," Cuadros said. "It gives you a bigger perspective and allows you to see the world in a different way than what you’re used to and see in high school ... you’re always challenged and you learn a lot about yourself."
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