DFC students win business awards

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:22

Deer Lake’s Alyssa Meekis earned first-place honours and $300 for her photography business plan at Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School’s annual business awards.
“I’ve done several events already in my home reserve,” Meekis said after the Grade 11 Entrepreneurship class awards ceremony, held Dec. 9 at DFC. “And I’ve done a wedding, which is my biggest event I ever did. It was really exciting.”
Meekis said the wedding pictures are all framed and hanging in the newlywed family’s home.
“It was really nice to see that when I went in there,” Meekis said. “I started taking pictures when I was about 10 when I got my first camera. I’ve been really passionate about photography for a couple of years now.”
Meekis uses a Canon EOS Rebel T3i digital camera and four lenses, including fisheye, wide-angle and portrait lenses, to capture her images.
“I just need a printer and ink and I’ll be ready to print them out for people,” Meekis said.
Although Meekis has been doing most of her photography assignments in Deer Lake and Sandy Lake, she plans to travel further afield for photography assignments once she graduates from high school this upcoming year.
“I plan to do (the photography assignments) anywhere,” Meekis said. “Usually, wherever I am, I try getting someone to ask me to take a picture for them.”
Meekis encouraged other youth to focus on achieving their dreams.
“People shouldn’t give up on anything if they believe in it,” Meekis said. “Just go for it.”
Meekis plans to use the $300 award to buy clothing for her baby, who is due in about three months.
Cylde Moonias earned second-place honours during the award ceremony while Tre Fiddler earned third-place honours.
The Grade 11 Entrepreneurship class is part of the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program that was developed and implemented by the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative in 2008 to teach Aboriginal youth about business and entrepreneurship, to encourage them to complete their high school education and to go on to post-secondary studies.
“This is our eighth year running the Grade 11 (Entrepreneurship) program,” said Brandon Wright, teacher of the Entrepreneurship class. “Every year we usually have on average about eight students, but this year we had 13 students competing today. It was a very close competition; I guess that would happen when you have a deeper roster of competitors.”
Wright said one of his former Entrepreneurship students from two years ago recently opened up a restaurant in her home community of Sachigo after completing Culinary Arts at Confederation College.
“The last I heard it was doing pretty well — since it’s a new business and she has a lot of attention,” Wright said. “And a few others have gone on the the business program at (Confederation) College.”
The Entrepreneurship program provides students with information on business and personal financial literacy, including the process to develop a budget, knowledge of banking, how to create spread sheets and the importance of financial projections.