As part of The Saltire Foundation's busy schedule for Global Entrepreneurship Week, CEO Sandy Kennedy visited two high schools in Glasgow to talk to 6th form pupils about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead of them at university in Scotland. In many ways accompanying our first GEW event - Reflections on Global Entrepreneurship: Opportunities for Young Scots, the same ethos applied; if entrepreneurialism is to take off in Scotland tomorrow, then we must first connect with the youth of today; in our communities, universities and schools.
On Tuesday 15th Sandy accompanied 2011 scholar Flora Wright to her old school, Williamwood High in Glasgow's south side, and on Wednesday 16th he made the trip to Springburn Academy with another former pupil, 2011 scholar Nadia McLean. Both visits were similar in that the pupils were all in the process of writing their UCAS application forms and making those all-important decisions of what and where to study. Before passing over to the past-pupils, Sandy briefly explained that "Scotland is a country with a lot of potential but the key now is realising that potential." He spoke of how organisations like The Saltire Foundation can either provide unique global opportunities for these young people in the future, or connect them with others that can help them in ways that we cannot.
At Springburn Academy, Nadia who currently studies mathematics and statistics at The University of Glasgow spoke of her experiences working for IBM in Charlotte, North Carolina over the summer. Pupils' eyes lit up as she compared living at home during university to staying in a hotel in America and also when she mentioned being lucky enough to visit New York City and Washington DC. Having heard about The Saltire Foundation through The Robertson Trust, she finished by telling the class that it's opportunities like these that "are worth fighting for."
The school visits were huge successes in that these pupils, who are in the wake of embarking on the next chapter of their lives, are already aware of what could potentially lie ahead if they work hard enough. Already, plans are being made for The Saltire Foundation to forge stronger links with schools such as Springburn Academy in the form of creating links with universitys' widening access departments and sourcing tips and ideas on how pupils can best sell themselves on their UCAS applications.