Youth Social Entrepreneurship at UWC Maastricht

June 2, 2021

Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) is a mandatory course implemented at UWCM. Olaya Garcia, YSE coordinator, joins to explain the programme.

“The main goal for students is to gain tools and skills to be able to start their own projects and to positively change things around them.” It was initially planned to take place in January 2021 but due to COVID-19 complications, it was postponed to April and had to be done online. During the week, students were able to attend several workshops hosted by UWC alumni ranging from those who are now working on a project and are changemakers to those who gave tips to help plan projects. To ensure that the short course is more useful and engaging, there were seven themes for students to choose from based on their own individual interests: Arts and Culture, Building Community, Education, Environmental Sustainability, Health, Media, Peace, Social & Economic Development, and S.T.E.M. Each theme had its own external speakers who had accepted the offer to come and give more details about their own projects. The ideas that sparked through these students ranged from issues affecting UWCM’s own residential community to those other countries are dealing with.

The students were able to learn various skills such as identifying a problem, choosing a feasible solution, and planning how to raise money for their project. Even though concentration became very difficult as everything was held online, it was still a great opportunity and learning experience which will prove to be useful in the later life stages. There are several groups quite enthusiastic about their own ideas and solutions that they have chosen and are moving forward to the next stage which is the pitching of their ideas, happening on June 2nd! The problems chosen have a wide range from racial profiling in Maastricht, limited presence of plants on the school campus, tension amongst social groups of the residential community, and many more. These solutions will hopefully take place and allow these students to become the next changemakers.