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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Greg Overholt, Alumnus

As an undergraduate, Greg Overholt (BBA/BSc ’08) noticed a high demand for academic assistance from his fellow students during exam time. His keen business acumen sensed an opportunity, and his desire for social change saw possibilities on a global level.

In his second year, he founded Laurier SOS (Students Offering Support), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping first- and second-year students with exam preparation. Students pay a small fee for each help session, with all the proceeds going towards Overholt’s passion: funding educational development projects in developing countries.

Since its launch, Laurier SOS has tutored thousands of students and raised more than $100,000. Student volunteers travel to countries in South America to help build washrooms, community centres and classrooms.

After graduating in 2008, Overholt established SOS as a national charitable association, which now supports chapters at 11 universities across Canada.

“It’s great to see other students understand and appreciate the goal of SOS,” he says. “When volunteer students come together to help those less fortunate, it creates a truly unique community.”

2011 was a big year for Overholt, who earned an Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Social Innovation category. The Globe and Mail also named him one of Toronto’s hottest young entrepreneurs.