J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate is full to the brim with extraordinary students with many different passions. The staff at Eye on the Storm has decided that these students deserve to be recognized for their hard work and talent. Explore the lives of 10 exceptional students that are profiled here as part of our new series: Trending Ten. Get ready to be inspired!
Omar Iqbal is a grade 12 business student who is involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate. This school year, he introduced SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) to our school and assembled a team of students to launch a business called Project Prospect. Omar is also involved in the DECA business club at the school and has assisted in school events such as fundraisers for KIVA. Eye on the Storm sat down with the young entrepreneur to find out more about him and his initiatives at Richardson.
What is SAGE exactly?
Basically, SAGE is a group founded by some university students with a goal to advance youth entrepreneurship in Canada. We create a team and brainstorm ideas for a business, our Richardson team is called Project Prospect.
Awesome! What’s inspired and motivated you to be who you are today?
What inspires me is seeing helpful things that people have done online, usually through videos, in order to help those in need. I feel like it’s important to be caring in order to make the world a better place.
How do you achieve this with Project Prospect?
What we do in Project Prospect is make bracelets and sell them in order to get a profit. That profit is then donated to a charity, and we have chosen to work with and donate to Canadian Feed the Children. This charity basically aims to help children in need in Canada, such as the ones living in Aboriginal reserves.
What made you want to start this group at Richardson?
I heard about SAGE from a friend who goes to a different school, and I had been wanting to get my name out here for a while so I saw it as a perfect opportunity. In the beginning it was something to put on my resume and university applications but after a while I realized it was really cool and it’s nice to know that you’re helping people who need it. I’ve gotten a lot of real world experience through it as well.
So how did you get to this point in your life? What made you realize that you wanted to go into business?
I’ve always wanted to do business ever since I was little. My first business that I had was with my friend in the second grade, we would sell candy that we got from a different country to teachers and students. Then from there I guess my passion for business just kept growing. As soon as I got into high school I started taking business courses and I built my way up. I moved to Ajax and started at Richardson in grade 10 and saw that there were even more business courses available to students here which I really liked. From that I decided to create Project Prospect because I thought there wasn’t anything like it at the school and it was something a lot of students would want to be a part of.
What’s your end goal for Project Prospect?
I want our team to create a proper profit and to be noticed locally and globally as a good thing started by some high school students.
What are some of your dreams and aspirations?
I want to help my friends be successful and I want to become successful as well. Like, I want it for myself but I don’t want to get there alone, I want to bring my friends and people I care about with me to the top.
And finally, what does the future look like for Project Prospect?
Project Prospect is going to stay as an initiative inside Richardson, carried on by younger grades as the years go on. I feel like this is where it will be easiest to carry out and continue to grow. I do plan on staying in contact with whoever is president of the team next year just to stay updated and help out however I can.
Project Prospect will be continuing to sell their bracelets in the cafeteria at lunch on select dates. Keep an eye out on social media and for posters around the school to stay updated on their outstanding initiative! A special thank you to Omar Iqbal for sitting down with us and for being an amazing contribution to our student body. Be sure to check out the next student profile in our series: Trending Ten of 2016.
Project Prospect’s flagship bracelet, one of many designs.