JCI Brantford's mission is to "empower young people to create positive change" doesn't stop with local projects. Once a need has been assessed in a local community, it is often partnerships with other community organizations that make lasting sustainable change in a community. When we found a need in the Brantford community for more positive learning opportunities for youth, member Aaron De Mille was reminded of the impact that Junior Achievement (JA) had on his life and picked up the phone. Little did he know that JA was already looking for opportunities to expand their programming to Brantford and South-Western Ontario. A perfect match echoed by the enthusiasm of JA Waterloo President and CEO, Karen Gallant.
It wasn't long after that call that a committee was formed in JCI and Karen was invited to present the Company Program to JCI members at their April 6th General Members meeting. Karen is an amazing presenter with professional experience at the business incubator, Communitech based in waterloo. Karen shared some of the amazing points of impact that the Company Program makes around the world, some especially interesting facts are highlighted below:
75% percent of Achievers stated that JA has had a significant impact in the development of their financial literacy and decision-making skills. JA inspires students to stay in school and prepares them to succeed in tomorrow’s jobs. Through our programs, students learn how to translate their interests and skills into successful careers. They also develop practical job skills in such as interviewing, communications and critical thinking.
65% of Achievers stated that JA has had a significant impact on their decisions to stay in school and enroll in post-secondary education. Graduates from JA programs save more and borrow less than the average Canadian. In our financial literacy programs, students learn how to create and manage wealth. They develop real-world skills that they can apply to their lives immediately – such as budgeting, investing and aligning their financial choices with their goals.
JA graduates are 50% more likely to open a business. JA graduates are more likely to launch businesses and create jobs. Through our entrepreneurship programs, students gain firsthand experience in running a business. They work with mentors from their local business communities to create strategies and manage companies. Many business leaders cite JA’s Company Program as the catalyst that gave them the ambition to launch a business and the skills to do so successfully.
So what is the Company Program? (From the JA Waterloo Website)
The after-school Company Program is designed to help young people appreciate and better understand the role of business in our society. With the support and guidance of local business professionals high school students get the opportunity to build their own business enterprise.
While operating their business, Achievers will have the opportunity to:
- Incorporate and capitalize by selling shares
- Organize a Board of Directors and elect a management team
- Produce and market a product or a service
- Establish production and sales goals for their company, and monitor progress toward goals at regular company meetings
- Maintain and analyze financial records
- Compile an annual report for shareholders, pay a dividend and liquidate the business
Through this after-school Company Program Junior Achievement of Waterloo Region seeks to:
- Link students with mentor Advisors in the form of volunteers from our community who are knowledgeable about business operation and may be working local businesses or operating their own.
- Oversee the integrity of the ventures through robust policies
- Ensure the safety of products and services
- Develop lasting relationships that bring students, mentors, and the business community together for mutual benefit.
JCI is already forging partnerships with the Grand Erie District School Board and the City of Brantford to bring the JA Company Program back to Brantford. For more information, contact member Aaron De Mille who is leading the JCI efforts relating to this innitiative.