I volunteered for the Social Innovation Relay (SIR), because I believe that it is essential to not only inform secondary school students about entrepreneurship, but to get them involved in it too. I am happy to take part in this kind of youth development programs. On top of this, I was thinking of starting my own financial education program for school as it is lacking in the Hungarian curricula. So, when I heard of the SIR and its outreach to students I decided to join in.
Based on my experiences I can say that the situation of young people entering the labor market is very challenging and is becoming ever more so. However, if students can start their “career” already at school, developing their ideas and business networks, they can “grow”. They can get acquainted with daily operations or with launching and managing real businesses. That is why it is important to have educational organizations and businesses working closely together. I believe that in an ever-changing world entrepreneurial skills do matter and the sooner kids realize this, the earlier they can make use of them in real life. As our current educational system does not support students in acquiring these necessary skills, student’s should or need to take part in programs such as the SIR.
As an SIR volunteer I was struck by the familiarity of the 17-18 year olds with subjects from a variety of fields of profession. They easily grasped the purpose of the program and I was surprised and motivated by their comments and ideas. I never expected such level of cooperation from them on a case study. The students’ enthusiasm was only exceeded by their teacher’s motivation. He was really inspiring them to participate. It was a joy to see such commitment and dedication. He had an excellent relation with his students and they in turn had a lot of respect for him.
For me it was also really fascinating to work with the students in creating a business from an idea. The original idea for the business was new for me, as I did not know anything about sign language or communications for deaf people.
I really endorse programs like this one, because even if you can learn a lot in school, you can only gain real personal experiences and growth through programs like SIR. It’s not a waste of time, since you continuously keep learning new things on the one hand and get to teach others on the other hand, which is the nicest duty in our lives. So seize this opportunity and volunteer!