Capitalize for Kids invites students to help support children’s mental health
Capitalize for Kids, a non-profit organization that helps support children’s mental health, is seeking the help of the Concordia community.
As part of their annual conference, the organization is encouraging students from Concordia and other Canadian universities to take part in their Student Challenge, where participants compete in a national portfolio management competition to raise money for programs related to children’s mental health.
“This is so important because brain and mental health is the number one health issue among children and youth,” said Andrew Barlett, Concordia’s Capitalize for Kids ambassador, “Mental illness affects one in five people, and the chance of depression is increased by three to five times after a traumatic brain injury.”
According to him, this challenge provides students with different opportunities to strengthen their finance and investing acumen and develop important career opportunities, all while raising awareness and funds for the cause. “I am working to bring together students, faculty, alumni and the Concordia community alike, to give back to the community all while providing a platform for students who are interested in participating in Canada’s first charitable national student investors challenge,” Barlett told The Concordian when asked about his role as ambassador.
The conference is conducted by the organization’s annual investors. “Since our first investors conference in 2013, we have raised over $4 million to help solve the toughest challenges in children’s mental health,” said Eyal Sequeira, the business development manager at Capitalize for Kids. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, also known as SickKids, has been their main beneficiary, but he said that as Capitalize for Kids continues to grow alongside SickKids, they will also look to impact other institutions.
“Students will be exposed to the unique blend of professional development and philanthropy,” Bartlett said about the Student Challenge. “It is not often we see an initiative that adds value for all stakeholders, and [has a] positive social impact.” Barlett, who is also captain of the Concordia Stingers football team, graduated in 2016 with a degree in human relations and is currently in his second semester of the business administration graduate diploma.
This year’s Capitalize for Kids conference will be held on Oct. 18 and 19. “We have secured a few incredible speakers,” said Sequeira. The founder and CEO of Fairfax Financial, Prem Watsa, will be the keynote speaker at the event. Dan Dreyfus from 3G Capital will also be speaking. “Funny thing about Dan is that he credits his ‘breaking into Wall Street’ to winning a student investment challenge in the late 90s,” Sequeira said.
This year, the Student Challenge will run from Jan. 16 to April 16. Registration to participate in the student challenge ends on Jan. 15. Concordia students are encouraged to sign up on the organization website: www.capitakizeforkids.org/challenge.