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Leaders in youth education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

Welcome to The Spark, your gateway to Junior Achievement South Western Ontario’s vision of building a world in which young people have the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. Here, you’ll find stories, insights, and experiences that show how we’re helping young people gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need for success.

Come with us as we explore how we empower youth to make a positive impact on the world. Together, we can create a brighter future!

Closing the Financial Literacy Gap: A Call for Collaborative Action

November 29, 2023

I remember clearly my first week attending university. I was nervously navigating unfamiliar hallways, classes, and other new realities when I came upon a series of booths set up in the campus food court. Each was a bank or other financial institution vying for my attention and sharing the opportunity to sign up for my very first credit card. My reaction? No way…

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That Back-to-School Feeling

September 29, 2023

I’ve always liked “back to school”. As a young person, I enjoyed going back to school – fresh notebooks, new subjects, seeing friends I hadn’t seen over the summer. It always felt like a New Year and new beginning. When my kids were young, I had the same feelings of excitement and anticipation over the start of the school year. Now with JA, September brings similar feelings of excitement…

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Thoughts from the Quiet Kid…

November 15, 2023

If you were to travel back in time to when I was in tenth grade and ask any of my teachers, coaches, or family friends to describe me, you would have gotten one resounding answer from all of them: quiet. I was mousy and painfully shy. I did everything in my power to not be seen, acknowledged, and definitely not heard…

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A Change to Planned Giving Starts in 2024

August 31, 2023

Introduction by  Heather J. Scott, CFRE Director, Philanthropy JA South Western Ontario  Since 2006, the capital gains on gifts of publicly traded securities to registered charities has been eliminated. Securities eligible are all securities listed on both Canadian and major international exchanges. This includes stocks, mutual funds and bonds, along with a variety of other…

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Self-Efficacy: A Critical Skill for Worker

July 27, 2023

I’ve spent a lot of my career focused on talent development – either as a people leader, helping companies attract and retain talent, or – most recently – providing opportunities for youth to figure out what they want to do and how they can get there. As part of this work, I love to stay…

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