Outstanding Young Alumna shares her entrepreneurial spirit
Sarah Erasmus has been quite busy since receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award last fall. Not only has business been booming at her clothing shop, Erasmus Apparel, but she's also been volunteering as a mentor for In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Aboriginal Youth.
The program, facilitated by the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business studies at Cape Breton University, teams Aboriginal high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 with people like Erasmus - Aboriginal business mentors who are educated, working professionals with a background in business.
After graduating from SAIT's Digital Graphics Communications Technology program in 2010, Erasmus opened Erasmus Apparel in Yellowknife, NWT where she sells her unique line of clothing including everything from shirts, hats, scarves, dresses and company memorabilia.
"I love coming to work everyday and enjoying what I do," says Erasmus. "Being able to go to school and then use that knowledge afterwards has been incredibly rewarding."
As part of the In.Business program, Erasmus has been spreading her entrepreneurial savvy with her assigned group of aboriginal youth from the NWT. She provides them with business challenges every couple of weeks that introduce topics such as accounting, marketing and human resources. The challenges are designed to help students think about all of the work that would need to go into starting their own business venture.
"It's been a very rewarding experience," says Erasmus. "This is the first time the program has come to the NWT and I'm proud to be a part of it."
Awarding alumni achievements
Last year, SAIT honoured Erasmus with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award to honour her business success and all the work she does in her community. Erasmus says receiving the award was a really special moment for her. "It was such a good feeling to know that all my hard work was being recognized. It's a true pat on the back for everything I have done."
This level of achievement and success is exactly what SAIT's Alumni Award program is designed to recognize says Pam Aranas, Alumni Relations Manager for SAIT Alumni and Development. "The roll-up of all the alumni award recipients since 1988 speaks for itself. SAIT alumni are making an impact across Canada and around the world."
As SAIT prepares to celebrate 100 years in the Calgary community Aranas says it's even more important to recognize those members of our community who have helped shape SAIT into the respected institution it is today and to carry that pride forward into our second century. "We're looking for SAIT graduates who have taken their careers to the next level and have made a lasting impact on the communities where they live."
Nominations for the 2016 Alumni Awards are open until Thursday, March 31, 2016.
Visit the Alumni Awards page for more information and to fill in a nomination form.
Erasmus will be speaking about how she's investing in her Yellowknife community and Indigenous peoples on Thursday, March 17 in the Orpheus Theatre of SAIT's Main Campus Centre as part of Native Awareness Week.
Written by Alison O'Connor