About the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition

The SFU Student Community Engagement Competition (SCEC) started in 2014 as a collaboration between Blackwood Partners Management Corp., Central City, the City of Surrey and Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus.

In its first three years, the competition supported some amazing projects, such as S.C.O.R.E.Gro Carts and Media Minds, which have engaged youth, supported food justice and created foundational support for young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

In 2017, the competition expanded with two new awards designed to encourage collaborative projects between SFU students and community partners to create positive social impact in Burnaby communities. And in 2018, thanks to generous funding from SFU International, the Burnaby Festival of Learning and others, the competition was able to expand to include brave engagement anywhere and to increase the total available funding up to $30,000.

We are humbled to have provided over $170,000 in award funding through the competition, supporting more than 65 community engagement projects that have taken place all over the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, further out in BC, like Victoria and Ashcroft, and as far away as Ecuador! Before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, SFU students have shown up with their community partners to do brave work on food justice, reconciliation, social connection, newcomer inclusion, Islamophobia, anti-black racism, career accessibility, toxic drug crisis, and more. We’ve had small projects and big projects. One team’s journey even resulted in the founding of a BC nonprofit that is in operation today.

Now in its tenth year, thanks to our committed partners, the competition is once again able to make up to $30,000* available to support SFU students who want to work together with community partners to create meaningful impact. We can't wait to see what you'll do with it!


SFU's practice of community engagement prioritizes co-creation in cutting-edge research, transformative education, and community action. While SFU has plenty of inspiring examples of staff and faculty collaboration with community, the SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition works to provide students with an avenue for developing a strong community engagement practice outside of formal education. And if we're doing that well, it means that the projects we support also advance community agendas and issues.

Take a look at the competition's growing list of student-led projects to see how students are working together with community partners to co-create lasting, meaningful impact. And if you’re currently an SFU student, your idea could be next! Register today and then submit your idea by November 24, 2023, and take part in this transformational process. Think critically, listen deeply, and take courageous and responsible action on the issues that matter – in partnership with people and organizations in your communities

Thank you to our partners

It’s pretty amazing when people come together with the intention of doing something good in the world. While we can – and should – critically debate the meaning of “good”, there’s no doubt that meaningful change takes commitment, hard work, and some kind of intention to connect with others honestly, respectfully, and in an ongoing way. The SFU Student-Community Engagement Competition is a collaborative initiative that has been successful thanks to the involvement of Blackwood Partners Central City, the City of Surrey, SFU Public Square, the Burnaby Festival of Learning, SFU International and Simon Fraser University. We are so grateful to our past and present partners, who share this vision and who are the heroes who continue to make this opportunity available. 

What would you  do with $3,000?

Up to $30,000* is available to fund SFU students who want to work with community partners to create meaningful impact.

Maybe you’re working on an existing idea for a class you’re taking, through a student club, or through another organization. Or maybe you just have an amazing idea that keeps you up at night.... Whatever it is, we want to hear from you!

Start the process now by registering today and then submitting your idea before November 24 – all you need is your passion and an idea. 

* Award amounts subject to change