Welcome back to our Youth Ventures Success Stories series! This time, we’re flipping the script
and sharing a Youth Ventures Coordinator story — say hello to Kristen Murray! She joined the
YV family in the summer of 2019 and is the recipient of the 2019 Star Coordinator award.
Read on to learn more about Kristen’s Youth Ventures experience…
In the beginning
Kristen is from St. John’s, Newfoundland and she became a Youth Ventures Program
Coordinator for the Metro region as a work term while completing her Bachelor of Commerce
at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
She says it was an amazing opportunity that allowed her to combine experience and passion:
“I have had a keen interest in entrepreneurship and small business for a number of
years and I also had past experiences in working/volunteering with youth, so it turned
out to be the perfect fit!”
Life as an “Entrepreneurial Fairy”
According to Kristen, there are many reasons why being a Youth Ventures Program
Coordinator is awesome. Some of the most exciting — and rewarding — aspects of the
Coordinator role? Navigating diverse roles related to mentoring and coaching as well as
helping participants see opportunities and overcome challenges in their region.
Says Kristen, “The YV Coordinator is like an entrepreneurial fairy, cheerleader and coach
all in one. A “fairy” because we spread the word across their region, from classroom
presentations to information booths dressed as lemonade stands! A “cheerleader” for
aspiring young entrepreneurs who deserve encouragement and support to reach their
potential. A “coach” because we provide guidance and assistance to young
entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams!”
Being inspired and paying it forward
Kristen says that she feels inspired by Youth Ventures’ 27 years-and- counting mission to
advocate for youth entrepreneurship in Newfoundland and Labrador, not to mention its track
record of helping over 7000 youth start businesses since the program began.
Her main sources of inspiration and motivation to ‘pay it forward’ are the Youth Ventures
participants themselves. Kristen remembers, “I helped 22 participants in Summer 2019.
Each of them had incredible stories, expertise and talents that I was amazed by. I’ll
never forget this individual and how they showed me their resilience, creativity, and
Leadership, growth, and a bright future
Kristen says that her experience as a Youth Ventures Program Coordinator has helped her
understand the value of the Program to the larger future of Newfoundland and Labrador
— and beyond. Connecting the dots between cultivating young business and our future
community leaders means helping our youth recognize opportunities, learn by doing, and
grow all the practical and ‘soft’ skills needed to pursue success. “These youth are not only
creating businesses and jobs that boost our economy, they are helping to strengthen
our community,” she says.
When asked what’s next for her and how being a Coordinator has helped her plan for her
future, Kristen is excited about continuing her business-focused education, including pursuing
a Masters of Business Administration in Social Enterprise at Memorial University. “Youth
Ventures has definitely helped further shape my goals and ambitions,” shares Kristen.
“Before I’m 29, I’ll be going to Youth Ventures to help me as a participant!”
Would she recommend being a Coordinator, knowing what she knows now? Absolutely!
“Being a YV Coordinator is an incredible experience, especially if you are an
entrepreneur or have entrepreneurial goals. You’ll be challenged and inspired every
day — it’s an experience you’ll hold close to you for a long time.”
Wow! Talk about inspiring and being inspired!
Thanks for sharing your story, Kirsten — your Youth Ventures family is proud to keep supporting you as you pursue your future goals.
Until next time, let’s keep Makin’ Lemonade!