National Volunteer Week 2016: Meet Business Mentor Wil Carlos

Wil Carlos is teaching grade 5 and 6 students at McMurrish Junior Public School about "philanthropership." Courtesy: Wil Carlos.

Wil Carlos is teaching grade 5 and 6 students at McMurrish Junior Public School about “philanthropership.” Courtesy: Wil Carlos.

As this week marks National Volunteer Week in Canada, we’re celebrating the work of volunteers – who have generously offered their time and passion – across the country and at The Learning Partnership. TLP’s volunteers dedicate themselves to many of the organization’s programs, including Entrepreneurial Adventure (EA), Turning Points and Welcome to Kindergarten, to support the organization’s mission to advance public education in Canada. Let’s meet one of our amazing volunteers, Wil Carlos, business mentor with TLP’s EA Program.

Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself.

“I have a background in Theatre and went to UBC for Theatre Performance. I currently work with Young Ones, a non-profit organization that focuses on helping youth with mental illness, where I lead their training and development for volunteers and staff. As an entrepreneur, I have created businesses as a one-on-one life coach, mostly in leadership, relationships, communication, fundraising and small business. I have designed and led a number of training programs on leadership and fundraising for individuals and non-profits through my initiative called Local Leaders, Global Feeders. ”

Q: What do you do as an EA business mentor?

“I have been involved with TLP for the past year and a half. This is my second season as a business mentor for grade 5 and 6 classes with McMurrich Junior Public School in Toronto. Basically, I come in and talk to the kids about entrepreneurship, philanthropy and the philosophy of business. Sometimes, they want to know the logistics like ‘do [they] have a good idea?’ or ‘how do [they] know if [they] have a good idea?’ I was also on the Think Tank and Writing Team for the new edition of the Dragons’ Nest Program this past summer.”

Q: What motivated you to get involved?

“I love entrepreneurship! I feel it’s something we don’t talk about enough nor teach in schools enough. We have plenty of classes on important topics, but in the areas of ‘how to start a business,’ ‘how to make money,’ ‘how to create something people need’ or ‘how to be a leader,’ we are not doing very well as a society.”

“In India and Nepal, I got to see the number of entrepreneurs sometimes exceed the number of traditionally employed people in many urban areas. This was by necessity. There are not enough jobs to go around and people recognized this so they started their own businesses often with incredible ingenuity, leadership and good results.”

Q: What have you gotten out of it?

“Getting to bring my own ‘agenda’ about entrepreneurship, philanthropy and the importance of true leadership to the school system has been incredibly rewarding. One example was helping the students to completely revamp their resumes to be more reader-friendly for future employers. That is very rewarding for me.”

Did you know? In addition to his thriving business and giving back to students, Wil is also a successful musician, singer and songwriter, with a recorded album under his belt!

Do you volunteer? Let us know in the comments how you make a difference! Happy National Volunteer Week!

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