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An excellent student leader

A man smiles broadly and looks at the camera. He is in a business suit and standing in front of two pull-up banners. One banner says Enactus and the other says NSCC Entrepreneurship.
Levi Ogbaje, a 2nd-year Welding Inspection and Quality Control student at NSCC Pictou Campus, has received the Silver Award for Student Leadership Excellence from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)

Levi Ogbaje, a 2nd-year Welding Inspection and Quality Control student at Pictou Campus, has received the Silver Award for Student Leadership Excellence from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) — the voice of colleges and institutes across Canada.

He was nominated for the honour by his campus in recognition of his significant involvement in Enactus, the Volts Wagon Project and the campus’s Students Association

Prior to the pandemic, Levi was invited to represent his campus and Enactus during CICan’s Student Showcase on Parliament Hill.

Q&A with Levi Ogbaje

Q. How does it feel to win?
I was shocked. Surprised. It’s been overwhelming. This whole thing, I just can’t find the way to express my gratitude.

Q. What’s the Volts Wagon Project?
The Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) students are converting the combustion engine of a 1973 model Beetle Car into an electric vehicle using a Tesla battery. Enactus and NSCC Pictou Campus wanted it to become a multi-year project that could involve every student on campus who could provide their skills. Learn more about the EET students' work 

Q. What’s the Enactus Community Cuisine Project?
After the car is complete, we plan to use it to run the Enactus Community Cuisine Project. We will deliver meals to seniors in Pictou County and provide living-wage jobs to clients of Summer Street Industries who will prepare the meals.

Q. Why were you asked to share this project at the CICan’s Student Showcase on Parliament Hill?
By showcasing the project to government, other colleges and universities in Ottawa, we shared how entrepreneurship innovation is driving small businesses in Nova Scotia. People may choose to do something like this themselves. Standing before ministers, parliamentarians, top government officials, industry representatives and CICan members made me the pride of my family back home.

Q. How did you become involved in Enactus Pictou?
Enactus is my life! In Nigeria, I was the president at my university. People called me Enactus. Coming from a country that lacks a lot of basic amenities, I always wanted to be part of the solution. I just love innovation and seeing things work in a deepened way. That is what Enactus represents. I arrived at Pictou Campus looking for them. Luckily, I met a team that welcomed me with open arms.

Q. What brought you to Canada?
Coming here was a childhood dream. A teacher of mine always talked about Canada as one of the safest places in the world, with the best academics and great economic policies. I developed a passion for peace and for Canada.

Q. What made you choose NSCC?
I have a degree in metallurgical engineering from Nigeria and I wanted to do my Master of Engineering, but I couldn’t afford the program I was considering. Fortunately, I have a friend who went to NSCC. I told him about my challenges, and he told me about a program here that could give me exactly what I wanted. Even though I could have challenged for credit, I intentionally didn’t. I wanted to expose myself to the quality learning standards here. I wanted to gain every experience academically and in all other aspects of my life. After my program, I knew I could work and raise money to go on to my masters.

Q. What’s been your favourite memory of your time at the College?
Every single experience has been exceptional, I can’t pick just one. NSCC has changed my life and every bit of my experience here has been nothing but great.