About JA Camp Startup

A message from our JA Camp Startup Program Manager:

For the past ten years, I have had the most exciting and fun times working with the campers that come to JA Camp Startup. As they build out their business, the campers have come up with the most innovative products – their creativity is endless! I’ve seen Lego earrings and picture frames, leather coasters in the shape of a maple leaf, notebooks made from scratch, comic books series sold with the promise of new adventures, and sailboat-shaped soap holders. One year, an ambitious camper made Styrofoam ATMs, and we spent hours gluing together pieces of Styrofoam and understanding the mechanics of making real money come out of it.

I’ve seen the quietest campers turn out stellar sales pitches and sway their very first customer to buy all their available products, witnessed creative kids put together an entire marketing plan and set up a multi-level sales stand with lights and props, and have greeted business-savvy campers who arrive on Monday in a suit and tie and hand me their resume. The confidence they gain, creativity they explore, and light that sparks when their ideas come together all unfolds in front of my eyes all within a week, and I feel the most privileged to get to see it happen.

Together, campers and I have learned how to sew, how not to change the colour of candle wax, and what the best ingredients are to make the perfect bath bomb. We’ve learned new card games, played competitive rounds of Tag, and discussed the intricacies of their Roblox characters. Every year, these creative, brilliant kids make my summer the best it could ever be.

I hope you’ll consider sending any campers age 8-13 to one of our summer camps in London or Kitchener this year – and spreading the word to your friends! We’re excited to share this incredible experience with them when they get here. Learn more here:

Kind regards,

Zoe Burness
Program Manager
Company Program and Camps

IN THE NEWS: JA South Western Ontario announces Steve Copp and Ryan Finch as 2024 Inductees into the London & District Business Hall of Fame

JA South Western Ontario announces Steve Copp and Ryan Finch as 2024 Inductees into the London & District Business Hall of Fame

 

London, ON – May 28, 2024. At the London and District Business Hall of Fame Laureate announcement event, held at the London Public Library, Central Branch on May 28th, Junior Achievement South Western Ontario was pleased to announce Steve Copp, President of Copp’s Buildall and Ryan Finch, President of Finch Auto Group, as the 2024 Laureates.

Copp and Finch will be celebrated at the 34th Annual London and District Business Hall of Fame Gala.

This prestigious event, scheduled for October 24, 2024 at RBC Place London, marks a celebration of exceptional leadership, vision, and philanthropy.

Steve Copp

Steve Copp’s journey from shadowing his father in lumber yards to becoming President of Copp’s Buildall in 2000 reflects a legacy of strong work ethic and salesmanship. With deep roots in construction and development, Steve fosters meaningful relationships beyond business, exemplified by his roles on various boards and Copp’s extensive philanthropic support. With Copp’s now in its 4th generation of ownership, Steve, alongside his family, envisions a lasting legacy, emphasizing continuity, community, and commitment to excellence.

Ryan Finch

As President of Finch Auto Group overseeing eight auto dealerships in London, Sarnia and Georgetown, Ryan Finch takes pride in building upon his father’s Pontiac dealership and creating his own legacy.  With an athletic scholarship to the University of British Columbia and a business degree from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business, Ryan’s competitive spirit fuels his drive for success. Prioritizing family values and philanthropy, he champions a positive work culture, evident in his leadership of a 500-person team. Known for his approachability and genuine camaraderie, Ryan’s philanthropic efforts, including the Finch Match My Donation fundraiser and substantial contribution to mental health research, reflect his commitment to community welfare.

JA South Western Ontario invites members of the community to join in the London and District Business Hall of Fame Gala in October, celebrating the achievements of Steve Copp, Ryan Finch, and the power of community leadership. This annual signature event showcases the lives of the Inductees allowing us to learn about their achievements and how they have developed and nurtured their legacies. The 2024 London and District Business Hall of Fame Inductees will join a distinguished list of previous Laureates whose portraits are showcased in the London and District Business Hall of Fame Gallery located in the London Public Library, downtown London.

For more information on the London and District Business Hall of Fame Gala, please visit jaswo.org/LBHF, or contact Alicia Gall at agall@jaswo.org. For inquiries regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Heather Scott, hscott@jaswo.org. Online registration will open mid-June.

Legacy Giving

A message from Hilary Leitch, a partner in Business Law, and Wills and Estates at Lerners LLP:

When I think about legacy giving, estate planning in general is what comes to mind. Through my work as a Wills & Estates lawyer, I have come to believe strongly in the fact that estate planning is for everyone – regardless of financial means or family circumstances, everyone 18 years of age or older should consider their estate plan. Often, this includes a Will, Power of Attorney for Property and Power of Attorney for Personal Care, but it may also include more specific planning measures such as trusts. Regardless, if estate planning documents are kept in good order, it is a gift (or guide) to your family and friends should anything happen to you. While preparing documents at an early point in your life might appear straightforward, there is still lots to consider and to put into perspective. As life evolves and family dynamics change, you will need to be proactive in updating your documents in order to ensure a solid estate plan whatever the circumstances.

legacy givingBeyond appointing an executor to manage your estate, or naming family and friends as beneficiaries to receive your estate, in doing estate planning, you also have the opportunity to consider what kind of legacy you want to leave. Often, in reflecting on one’s legacy, charitable giving to organizations or to causes is top of mind. Through charitable giving, you can name a charity or charities to receive a portion of your estate, or to receive a cash gift from your estate. For some, including a charitable gift is an important way to continue charitable giving that they were involved in throughout their life. For others, it may be their first charitable donation – or perhaps a donation of an amount that is significantly more than what was given during their lifetime. In my experience, people are interested in charitable giving as a way to make a direct impact on an organization, a cause, or a particular community. Many have had a history with charitable giving through monetary and non-monetary means, but some may have very little experience with the organization prior to leaving a gift in their Will.

There are so many opportunities surrounding estate planning and legacy giving so it is important that people are intentional about what they want to accomplish with their estate plan. By including a legacy gift, one’s estate plan has the potential to make an incredibly significant impact. For young people considering their estate plan or legacy giving in particular, I would encourage them to find ways to volunteer their time and talent to organizations that they have an interest in, or to organizations devoted to causes they are passionate about. From there, it is likely you will find yourself wanting to make a financial contribution that is meaningful to you – and legacy giving may be the next step as your interest and familiarity with an organization grows. By having the continuum of charitable giving extend beyond your lifetime, you are able to pass on the commitment of charitable giving and, along the way, create meaningful relationships with those whom you are working alongside and with those whom you are entrusting your charitable giving to.

If legacy giving resonates with you, I encourage you to reach out to a legal professional to get started.

About the Author

Hilary Leitch

Hilary Leitch is a partner in Business Law, and Wills and Estates  at Lerners LLP. Read more about Hilary.

May is Leave a Legacy Month

JA South Western Ontario has a new Planned Giving Webpage full of information to help with your legacy gifts. Learn more.

 

Make a lasting impact in your community through charitable gift planning.

A planned gift is committed now, and can be celebrated now, but actually doesn’t take effect until the future. Through a planned gift to JA South Western Ontario, you can make a significant difference in the lives of youth tomorrow, with little or no effect on your finances today. Donors who inform us of their plans receive personalized opportunities for involvement and public or private recognition.

Planned Giving

Every Moment Matters: Celebrating JA Volunteers

April is a special time across the country and especially at JA as we highlight a network of unsung heroes—JA volunteers. These remarkable individuals dedicate their time, skills, and empathy to empower our youth. They are the “secret sauce” of JA, making our learning experiences come to life.

Let me take a moment to elaborate on the “secret sauce” analogy…

volunteer in class

The Special Sauce of JA Volunteers

The Ingredients

Much like McDonald’s iconic Big Mac special sauce, JA volunteers blend a unique mix of qualities:

  • Time: Just as the secret sauce is meticulously crafted, our volunteers invest their precious time. They show up for every learning experience prepared to ignite curiosity and inspire dreams.
  • Skills: Like the perfect balance of tanginess and creaminess, our volunteers bring expertise. Whether teaching financial literacy or fostering entrepreneurial spirit, they enrich young minds.
  • Empathy: The special sauce wouldn’t be complete without a dash of empathy. Our volunteers listen, encourage, and uplift. They understand that every moment matters in a student’s journey.

The Impact

Remember that first bite of a Big Mac? Maybe you marveled at the flavour the secret sauce had. Similarly, JA volunteers have a profound impact in classrooms. Here’s what a few teachers had to say about JA volunteers who facilitated the Dollars With Sense and Economics for Success programs this year:

“I have used this program {Economics for Success} for a few years now. I personally really like volunteers coming into the classroom because the information, I feel, is more meaningful to the students coming from someone with expertise in a particular area. The program is always well-organized.”

“Having a JA Volunteer come into the classroom is an invaluable experience for the students. They bring a wealth of knowledge that is experience-based which helps the students understand how the information presented is used outside of the school environment.”

“I’ve always enjoyed the Dollars with Sense program. Great to have the volunteers back in the building!

So, here’s to you, JA volunteers! You’re the secret sauce—the magic ingredient that makes our learning experiences extraordinary. Thank you for all you do!

Summer Camp Counsellor – Kitchener

Job Opportunity:
Summer Camp Counsellor – Kitchener

(5 weeks in July/ August – 40 hours/week)

JA South Western Ontario is a member of JA Canada and part of JA Worldwide (JA), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. Through the delivery of hands-on, blended learning in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness, JA empowers young people to grow their entrepreneurial ideas, hone their work skills, manage their earnings, and secure better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Since 1963, schools in South Western Ontario have relied on JA to prepare young people for success in an ever-changing global economy. JA South Western Ontario is responsible for the geographic area including the counties of Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Bruce, Grey, Wellington, Waterloo, Brant, Hamilton, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Niagara.

The JA Summer Camp Coordinator works within a team of camp counsellors and under the supervision of full-time JA staff to facilitate all aspects of the JA Startup Camp experience for 8-13 year olds.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Supervising, facilitating, and participating in camp program activities with campers 8-13 years old
  • Participating in training and orientation sessions held prior to camp
  • Working in cooperation with other Camp Counsellors to ensure campers are safe, while maintaining adequate health and hygiene measures
  • Building relationships with campers by demonstrating compassion, empathy, and understanding
  • Providing positive feedback for parents
  • Assisting with camp set up and tear down activities, such as light cleaning, room preparation, organizing supplies/ materials, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned

Skills/ Qualifications

  • Ability to work well with children and parents
  • Ability to communicate effectively with parents, other Camp Staff, and campers
  • Ability to motivate others in learning new skills
  • Ability to demonstrate responsible, ethical, and professional conduct
  • Ability to provide support and instruction to others
  • Experience or education in working with children

This is a contract position (40.0 hours per week).

The successful candidate must be available to work 8:30 – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday from July 15 to August 23, 2024, on location at the Church of the Good Shepherd , 116 Queen Street North.

JA South Western Ontario is committed to a diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible environment where differences are valued and respected in all areas of our business. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and abilities.

Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. JA SWO will not discriminate on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age (18 and over), record of offenses for which a pardon has been granted, marital status (including same sex partners), family status, or any other grounds prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Are you ready to be a JA Summer Camp Counsellor? Please send a resume and cover letter to Zoe at zburness@jaswo.org. We thank all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Type: Seasonal
Contract length: 2 months

Schedule:

  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday

Work Location: In person

Application deadline: 2024-04-19
Expected start date: 2024-07-15

APPLY NOW

Summer Camp Counsellor – London

Job Opportunity:
Summer Camp Counsellor – London

(7 weeks in July/ August – 40 hours/week)

JA South Western Ontario is a member of JA Canada and part of JA Worldwide (JA), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. Through the delivery of hands-on, blended learning in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness, JA empowers young people to grow their entrepreneurial ideas, hone their work skills, manage their earnings, and secure better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Since 1963, schools in South Western Ontario have relied on JA to prepare young people for success in an ever-changing global economy. JA South Western Ontario is responsible for the geographic area including the counties of Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Bruce, Grey, Wellington, Waterloo, Brant, Hamilton, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Niagara.

The JA Summer Camp Counsellor works within a team of camp counsellors and under the supervision of full-time JA staff to facilitate all aspects of the JA Camp Startup experience for 8-13 year olds.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Supervising, facilitating, and participating in camp program activities with campers 8-13 years old
  • Participating in training and orientation sessions held prior to camp
  • Working in cooperation with other Camp Counsellors to ensure campers are safe, while maintaining adequate health and hygiene measures
  • Building relationships with campers by demonstrating compassion, empathy, and understanding
  • Providing positive feedback for parents
  • Assisting with camp set up and tear down activities, such as light cleaning, room preparation, organizing supplies/ materials, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned

Skills/ Qualifications

  • Ability to work well with children and parents
  • Ability to communicate effectively with parents, other Camp Staff, and campers
  • Ability to motivate others in learning new skills
  • Ability to demonstrate responsible, ethical, and professional conduct
  • Ability to provide support and instruction to others
  • Experience or education in working with children

This is a contract position (40.0 hours per week).

The successful candidate must be available to work 8:30 – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday from July 2 to August 23, 20234, on location at the JA Centre, 15 Wharncliffe Road N, London.

JA South Western Ontario is committed to a diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible environment where differences are valued and respected in all areas of our business. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and abilities.

Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. JA SWO will not discriminate on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age (18 and over), record of offenses for which a pardon has been granted, marital status (including same sex partners), family status, or any other grounds prohibited by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

To apply please send a resume and cover letter to Zoe at zburness@jaswo.org. We thank all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Type: Seasonal
Contract length: 2 months

Salary: From $16.55 per hour

Expected hours: 40 per week

Benefits:

  • Casual dress

Schedule:

  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday

Work Location: In person

Application deadline: 2024-04-19
Expected start date: 2024-07-02

APPLY TODAY

IN THE NEWS: Junior Achievers in London (CTV)

Company Program Students interviewed for CTV
Company Program Students interviewed for CTV

Help turn dreams into reality – a message from JA Alum Stephen McCabe

However, it was in high school, during the JA Company Program in 2012, that my JA experience took on a whole new level. I pitched the idea of duct tape wallets to my company, which later evolved into duct tape book bags. Despite facing unexpected challenges during production, our team remained undeterred and eventually pivoted to creative and custom phone cases, aligning with a trend of the time. This experience taught me invaluable lessons in leadership, adaptability, and the importance of a unified vision.

Fast forward to today, and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Northern Devs, a successful venture dedicated to helping startups and small-medium businesses build apps and websites. Additionally, I serve as a startup and product coach, sharing my expertise with an incubator in Brampton. Most recently, I’m excited to be launching QuickCasa, an AI platform designed to qualify leads for leasing agents in residential leasing.

When reflecting on my journey, I attribute much of my success to the solid foundation laid by JA. From selling energy drinks in high school to leading tech startups, JA instilled in me a deep understanding of business fundamentals and the critical importance of teamwork and adaptability.

Offering advice to high school students, I emphasize two key takeaways: ask questions and just try it. As I’ve come to realize, “Not knowing is never a problem; not learning is always a problem.” I wish I had taken more chances and embraced unique experiences, like the invaluable opportunities provided by programs such as JA.

As JA South Western Ontario celebrates the achievements of countless individuals with their “The Next 60 Starts Here” 60thAnniversary celebration, I invite you to join me in supporting their mission. Your generous contribution enables JA to continue empowering young minds, fostering entrepreneurship, and building a foundation for future leaders.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation before the year concludes by visiting jaswo.org/60startshere. Your support ensures that more students have the chance to experience the transformative power of JA programs and, like me, turn their dreams into reality.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Stephen McCabe

IN THE NEWS: Geddes Family Foundation Fuels the Future with a Generous Donation to Junior Achievement South Western Ontario  

The Geddes Family Foundation, administered through the London Community Foundation, announces a substantial donation to Junior Achievement South Western Ontario (JASWO) in support of the charity’s “The Next 60 Starts Here” 60th Anniversary campaign. Established in 2018, the Geddes Family Foundation is dedicated to supporting education and health initiatives

Brad Geddes, President & CEO ZucoraHome, has a long history with Junior Achievement South Western Ontario. Having served in various leadership roles, including Chair and Past Chair, and recognized as a Director Emeritus, Brad’s connection with JA dates back to 1972-1976 as a student in the Company Program in Brantford, Ontario.

Brad’s JA experience ignited his entrepreneurial spirit, leading to the establishment of multiple successful businesses. He provides invaluable advice to aspiring high school entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of finance, law, and a voracious reading habit.

In response to the Geddes Family Foundation’s donation, Karen Gallant, President and CEO of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario, expressed gratitude, stating, “This support allows us to expand our programs, reaching more students and empowering them with essential life skills. We are deeply grateful for the Geddes family’s commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders through relevant hands-on learning.”

“London Community Foundation is proud to facilitate the Geddes Family Foundation’s significant multi-year commitment that will further Junior Achievement’s vital mission,” said Diane Silva, Director of Philanthropy, London Community Foundation. “We applaud the Geddes family for investing in fostering the leadership and entrepreneurial skills of young people who are essential for building strong and thriving communities now and for generations to come.”

The Geddes Family Foundation’s donation comes at a critical time, as JA South Western Ontario celebrates 60 years with a goal to ensure every child is inspired by a JA experience.  To learn more and be a part of the celebration, please visit jaswo.org/60startshere or call 519-439-4201.

 

IN THE NEWS: Calling all alumni of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario (Cambridge Today)

Calling all alumni of Junior Achievement South Western Ontario

JA alumni invited to participate in the creation of a ‘mosaic of stories’
networking
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Listen to this article

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NEWS RELEASE
JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT SOUTH WESTERN ONTARIO
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Junior Achievement South Western Ontario is reaching out to its alumni spanning six decades to collect and celebrate the stories of success, growth, and learning that have emerged from the JA experience. As the charitable organization commemorates 60 years with their Next 60 Starts Here celebration, JA seeks to highlight and celebrate the impact of JA experiences on the professional and personal development of its alumni.

JA has been a pillar of experiential learning in southwestern Ontario since 1963, nurturing skills and insights essential for students in the areas of financial health, entrepreneurship, and work readiness. The stories of JA alumni stand as a testament to the enduring influence of Junior Achievement, demonstrating the transformative power of hands-on learning.

“We encourage JA alumni in our region, regardless of the scale of your experience, to share your story to help inspire local students,” said Karen Gallant, president and CEO of JA South Western Ontario. “We’re filling out our Alumni yearbook with at least one story from each of the past 60 years, but in the end we want to hear from as many alumni as possible. You never know which story is going to connect with a student and motivate them to push through a challenge they’re facing.”

The Next 60 Starts Here alumni initiative aims to showcase the diverse array of experiences and achievements of JA alumni. This mosaic of stories exemplifies the profound impact JA has had on individuals, communities, and the business landscape.

To share a JA story and be a part of this celebration, please visit the website or call 519-439-4201.

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Celebrating 2023 Laureates at the Hall of Fame Gala and Announcing 60th Anniversary “The Next 60 Starts Here” Celebration

At last night’s Gala Celebration at RBC Place London, distinguished Laureates Allan Drewlo, President of Drewlo Holdings, and Jill Wilcox, Owner of Jill’s Table were officially inducted into the London and District Business Hall of Fame, honoured for their outstanding contributions to business, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. While hosting the event, Junior Achievement South Western Ontario announced the launch of “The Next 60 Starts Here” – a $3.2 Million 60th Anniversary Campaign.

The London and District Business Hall of Fame Gala annually celebrates individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the London and District community through their commit

ment to ethical business practices. Allan Drewlo and Jill Wilcox have been selected as this year’s esteemed Laureates for their dedication to the world of business and philanthropy. Allan Drewlo has emerged as one of Southwestern Ontario’s foremost figures in the real estate development and property management indust

ry and Jill Wilcox has created a beloved destination for foodies, home cooks, and professional chefs as well as authoring food columns and six cookbooks.

The London and District Business Hall of Fame, established in 1990, serves as a crucial fundraising event for JA South Western Ontario. The event showcases the lives and accomplishments of these Laureates, inspiring the next generation of business leaders. These individuals will join a distinguished list of previous Laureates, whose portraits are displayed in the London and District Business Hall of Fame Gallery at the London Public Library in downtown London.

Nominations are now open for the 34th Annual London and District Business Hall of Fame Gala, which will be held on October 24th, 2024. Visit jaswo.org/LBHF for more information.

In addition to celebrating the induction ceremony, Junior Achievement South Western Ontario announced its 60th Anniversary “The Next 60 Starts Here” Celebration.

For 60 years, JA South Western Ontario has been dedicated to equipping young people with essential skills in financial health, entrepreneurship, and work readiness, preparing them for the constantly evolving global economy. JA continues to provide relevant hands-on learning to support youth in gaining essential skills, combatting the cycle of poverty.

The anniversary campaign aims to secure $3.2 million in funding to enhance and expand JA South Western Ontario’s reach and impact. These funds will be allocated toward vital areas, including sustainability initiatives, enriching learning experiences, improving IT infrastructure, and expanding facilities.

Andy Spriet and his wife, Helen, have made a significant commitment to the campaign by donating 10% of the fundraising goal. Andy, a former board member of JA South Western Ontario and an inductee into the London and District Business Hall of Fame in 2002, stressed the importance of supporting the organization, saying, “JA is supporting the future of business by teaching future entrepreneurs the skills they need. As a lifelong entrepreneur myself, it’s important to support these efforts. Helen and I hope our gift will inspire everyone across South Western Ontario to help in whatever way they can.”

As part of the celebration, JA South Western Ontario is collecting Alumni stories, aiming to gather at least one story from each of the past 60 years. The organization invites alumni who have participated in JA programs to share their stories, highlighting how JA has helped them achieve their goals and where they are today. This initiative demonstrates the enduring impact of JA’s work in the community.

Karen Gallant, President and CEO of JA South Western Ontario, expressed her enthusiasm for the 60th Anniversary Celebration. “We are incredibly proud of our six decades of empowering youth in South Western Ontario. This celebration is a testament to the lasting impact we’ve had in the region, and we look forward to connecting with our Alumni and the community to build an even brighter future for the next generation.”

To learn more about JA South Western Ontario’s 60th Anniversary “The Next 60 Starts Here” Celebration and how you can get involved, please visit jaswo.org/60startshere