By Molly Hanzidiakou

Looking back at the first week of school in her third and final year in the advertising and marketing communications management program, Sara Chisholm can confidently say that her team led with the highest mark for the overnight advertising boot camp.

This was the second year that Operation Come Home has participated in the advertising and marketing communications management boot camp.  It’s an exercise to give students the experience needed to work with clients once they leave Algonquin.

“You have to have an understanding of what the client is.  Try and get a sense of why they have this organization that they do,” said Chisholm.

Operation Come Home did not fully use the advertising scheme that the students came up with.  However, they did leave the managers with new ideas to share with other staff members at Operation Come Home.  One of these ideas being a new logo.

Operation Come Home is located in downtown Ottawa.  It offers at-risk and homeless youth support and services to change their life in a more positive direction.

This year, the boot camp focused on FarmWorks, a social enterprise at Operation Come Home.  This allows the youth to develop professional skills by exposing them to food, farming and agriculture. The experience allows them to look into careers in the horticulture, agriculture and hospitality industry.

“The budget was $2,000 for one year.  So our group really wanted to make it as inexpensive as possible for FarmWorks because we wanted to make something that was sustainable for them,” said Chisholm.  “Our budget only came in at $1,000 for the year.  They would be able to still fund themselves when you don’t use up the entire budget or close the entire budget.  They loved it.”

Chisholm’s group cut the budget down by doing their own photography.  Late in the evening, Chisholm and the rest of her crew made their way to Loblaws, bought a cutting board and vegetables and arranged them for pictures.

For a FarmWorks poster board, Operation Come Home took the group’s logo idea.

“We are so, so happy with the experience and the ideas we saw,” said Natalie Elliott, co-manager of operations for Operation Come Home.

“We haven’t had the chance to sit down with the staff and show them their work and choose something,” said Elliott. “I would love to do that and talk about the ideas.”