JA South Western Ontario is supported by Riverview Gaming Palace

Did you know?  Some of our ongoing support comes through funds raised at Riverview Gaming Centre in Chatham-Kent.  We’re so grateful to the centre and everyone who plays there for helping us to invest in the leaders of tomorrow.

Funds from Riverview have supported programs across all three JA pillars – financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Knowing that funding is there each month has been a huge help in bringing essential JA education to students in our community.

Thank you Riverview!


“Putting for Potential” Online Auction Open to All!

Support local students in Waterloo Region by shopping at our Online Auction, open until noon on October 19th.  We have a wide variety of items including fitness, activities, jewelry, experiences,  and gift certificates. Here are just a few:

  • Blue Jays tickets
  • Foundry Brewery – tasting and tour for 10 people
  • Framed reprints – AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones
  • Paradise Inn – 1 night stay, kayak and fat tire bike rental
  • Rebel Creek Golf Club– golf foursome
  • Westmount Golf & Country Club – Round of golf with Bill Fox for three people


IN THE NEWS: Libro Credit Union is first to invest in Junior Achievement amalgamated charter for greater impact on youth financial literacy

August 25, 2021 

SOUTHWESTERN, ONTARIO – Junior Achievement South Western Ontario received a $114,750 investment from Libro Credit Union, setting even more youth up for success with critical life skills that reduce the likelihood of living in debt and ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.

By amalgamating with Junior Achievement (JA) Waterloo Region, Junior Achievement South Western Ontario now covers the full southwestern Ontario region. Libro Credit Union, a longtime supporter of JA, also serves the same geographic footprint and has partnered with the goal of enhancing delivery of financial literacy learning. The amalgamated charter was announced in a release earlier this summer.

“This support from Libro will provide essential JA education to students across our region,” said Karen Gallant, President and CEO of JA South Western Ontario. “We are thrilled to be working side by side with Libro to inspire the community builders of the future in the towns where they live.”

Libro’s investment will be directed over a two-year period to fund the delivery of 115 financial literacy programs (55 programs delivered in 2021 and 60 programs delivered in 2022) reaching approximately 2,875 students from Grade 4 to high school.

Financial Resilience and Employment are two of Libro’s key focus areas and some of the biggest challenges facing our region. Canadian youth need financial literacy now more than ever.

With the impact the global pandemic has had on our educational system, we can’t lose sight of the essential proactive education students still need. JA has been filling the gap for over six decades and will continue to work with educators and youth to build these critical life skills. The earlier students learn how to manage money, the greater their chances of lifelong financial success.

Recent announcements from the Ontario Government in 2020 and in 2021 indicate that the math curriculum will be upgraded for the first time in 16 years. This will include significant curriculum changes in Grade 9 and mandatory financial literacy learning in Grades 1 through 8, to build valuable money management skills.

JA programs have been supporting youth development in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship in Canada since 1955. The interactive hands-on experiential learning is age appropriate and engages students with digital tools, resources, relevant content and mentorship from JA trained volunteers.

“Libro has enjoyed a strong partnership with JA for over a decade,” said Shane Butcher, Regional Manager, London-Elgin-Oxford, Libro Credit Union. “We’re looking forward to working with Karen Gallant and continuing our common goal of improving the financial literacy of our youth and developing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Now we’ll have an even greater impact.”

Jordan Moat, Regional Manager, Waterloo, Libro Credit Union adds, “Libro and JA’s aligned values of improving financial literacy and resilience have helped to create an incredible partnership in support of our youth. We’re excited by their recent amalgamation and the synergy this will create amongst our two organizations across southwestern Ontario.”

Libro’s investment will also support the JA London and District Business Hall of Fame and the JA Waterloo Region Entrepreneur Hall of Fame galas, which celebrate local business leaders who have made a positive, lasting impact in their community. These are critical events for the JA community as they inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and provide connections between Laureates and future leaders.

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REGISTRATION IS OPEN! JA Putting for Potential Golf Tournament – Sept. 23rd

Registration is now open for our 29th Annual “Putting for Potential” Golf Tournament in Waterloo Region. Join us Thursday September 23rd at Rebel Creek Golf Club in Petersburg, ON!

Learn more.

IN THE NEWS: “Regional Junior Achievement Charters Merge” – London Inc. Magazine

Junior Achievement South Western Ontario and JA Waterloo Region amalgamate to form one chapter

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT SOUTH Western Ontario announced today that it has officially merged with Junior Achievement Waterloo Region to form one charter.

Formed in 1963 and 1970 respectively, the two organizations will now operate as the amalgamated charter Junior Achievement of South Western Ontario. The new charter’s geography includes the counties of Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Bruce, Grey, Wellington, Waterloo, Brant, Hamilton, Haldimand-Norfolk and Niagara.

Regional Junior Achievement charters merge

JA South Western Ontario has joined with JA Waterloo Region to form one strong and dynamic charter

JA South Western Ontario has joined with JA Waterloo Region to form one strong and dynamic charter.

Formed in 1963 and 1970 respectively, the two organizations will now operate together as the amalgamated charter Junior Achievement of South Western Ontario. Our new geography includes the counties of Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Bruce, Grey, Wellington, Waterloo, Brant, Hamilton, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Niagara

Some things will change…

The last year and a half has already brought about many changes.  Our two charters have been working closely together to deliver programs in a virtual format.  This has resulted in some spectacular innovations from our staff, volunteers, and students! This amalgamation allows us to continue building on the success of this partnership as we move forward. We will use our new structure to increase efficiency, share and implement new ideas, and build brand awareness with the ultimate goal of bringing essential JA education to more students.

Some things will stay the same…

JA will still be working locally in many ways. Funds raised in each region will stay within that region. Volunteers will be working directly with schools in their areas. Our three offices in Kitchener, London, and Chatham will be maintained with current staff. And our focus on reaching as many students as possible in each county and school board will remain our highest priority.

The effects of the global pandemic have made it even more clear how important the work of JA is to our local communities. Educating our students in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship will help keep them out of the cycle of poverty and prepared when crises arise. Connecting with youth today means inspiring the community builders of the future, which will be crucial in the years of economic recovery that may lie ahead.

We are so excited for the opportunities that will open up for our students thanks to this merger and look forward to growing JA in every city and town across our new region.


IN THE NEWS: “So You Want My Job: Non-Profit Executive” – London Inc. Magazine

Karen Gallant, the new CEO of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario, chats about working to make a difference, the digital transformation and her short-lived accountant aspirations.

KAREN GALLANT IS the new CEO of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario, replacing Bev Robinson, who retired after running the London organization for nearly 15 years. Prior to taking the role in May, Gallant was a vice-president with Junior Achievement Canada.

JA Waterloo Region 50th Anniversary Campaign raises $170,451!

Kitchener, ON, July 5th, 2021 – After a nine-month celebration and fundraising campaign, Junior Achievement of Waterloo Region has raised over 170% of their original campaign goal with a total of $170,451.


“We’re thrilled to see the community recognize the importance of Junior Achievement and the essential proactive education it brings to our students,” said Murray Flanagan, JA Waterloo Region Board Chair and 50th Campaign Committee Chair.  “This support will go a long way to helping youth prepare for their financial futures, pursuing necessary education along the way, and staying out of the cycle of poverty.”


Since forming on September 22nd, 1970, JA Waterloo Region has provided 50 years of cost-free programming in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to students in Grades 3-12.  In 2020, with the help of community volunteers, JA quickly pivoted to deliver programs in an online interactive format to ensure that no student missed this important training due to the global pandemic.


In the 2020-21 school year, JA Waterloo Region reached over 6400 students through a variety of virtual programs.  Several programs ran in partnership with JA South Western Ontario, which provided exciting new collaboration and innovation opportunities to students and volunteers across the broader region.


“This outpouring of support through our campaign allows the innovation to continue,” said Karen Gallant, recently appointed President and CEO of JA Waterloo Region and JA South Western Ontario. “Keep an eye out for some exciting new growth in programming in the region over the next few years.”


Gallant wished to thank the members of the campaign committee Murray Flanagan, Ian Cook, and Darrin Snider, as well as retiring Interim President and CEO Bev Robinson for their hard work in bringing this campaign to fruition. She added, “It was wonderful seeing the stories coming in from JA Alumni and volunteers sharing the lasting impact JA has made on their lives.  It really highlighted the importance of this work and how it ultimately lifts our community as a whole.”

IN THE NEWS: “Stop, Drop, open up shop” – London, Inc. Magazine

Turning its focus to ­transitioning onsite ­programs into virtual experiences, Junior Achievement continues the learning — and learns a little itself, too

CAN YOU FORM a successful business with 15 people you have never met in person and likely never will?

That was the question posed to students involved in Junior Achievement’s Company Program (a four-month program that teaches grade nine to 12 students how to organize and operate a real business) last year, when it became apparent that JA was not going to be able to use the traditional in-person program model for the 2020-21 school year.

Stop, drop, open up shop