Political science grad helps young people find IDEAL careers

Most people wait for retirement before starting their legacy project.

Jessica Scorpio couldn’t even wait for graduation.

The 22-year-old political science student—with a concentration in international relations—helps set young professionals on their career paths by connecting them with mentors through her not-for-profit company called IDEAL.

“(I always hear) this is what some people do when they’re 50,” says Scorpio, who graduates with honours this month.

“We just bring in experienced (leaders) from all different areas.

“It’s very goal-oriented and . . . it’s going to make Canada stronger.”

As unemployment rates continue to rise in Canada, IDEAL aims to re-connect and re-engage young people with careers that might otherwise feel hopelessly out of their reach, she says.

“It blows my mind the statistics of people who have masters degrees but don’t have a job.”

The group has chapters in all major centres, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

“I’ve done a lot of mentorship programs, but (when it finishes) you’re not plugged into a larger network,” she adds.

“We have local events and you can continue the discussion online (www.idealmesh.com).”

Scorpio is clearly a product of her own teaching and she is already on the fast track to success.

After starting her not-for-profit group, she got hired as parliamentary secretary’s assistant for Minister of International Co-operation Bev Oda.

If all of that’s not enough, she was also recently accepted into a graduate program at Singularity University—a school at NASA Ames Research Park in California that aims to inspire the world’s future leaders.

A future leader? It seems likely.

Scorpio was pegged as one of the world’s top 100 entrepreneurs under 35 when, in April, she was asked to join Summit Series, an international networking and brainstorming conference in Aspen, Colorado.

“Every person (can have) an individual impact,” she says from her office in the east block of Parliament Hill. “With the web, it doesn’t take a lot.”

As if her resume isn’t impressive enough, Scorpio has another project on the horizon—her own line of handbags.

Designed to serve as an oversized purse, Scorpio says the LifeBag has multi-compartments and is extremely portable for people on the go.

She should know.

Scorpio spends most of her days on the road to success.

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Daniel Reid

By Daniel Reid

Whether it’s scientific breakthroughs, political manoeuvres or loaded technical jargon, Daniel Reid loves to untangle complex ideas to make them accessible to everyone. He is currently an editor at @newsrooms and is a former web editor at @CTVNews and homepage editor at @TheLoopCA. You can argue with him on Twitter at @ahatrack.

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