Future Focused: JA in Hamilton

We had a wonderful evening in Hamilton last Thursday discussing ways to grow Junior Achievement’s presence in the community to impact more youth. Thanks to all who came out to share their inspiring ideas – plus Hamilton Hyundai for hosting, Jonny Blonde Foodtruck & Catering for the delicious food, and Greening Media for capturing it all on film!

View the video.

Enjoy some photos.

Let us know how you’d like to be involved in building a bright future for Hamilton youth by contacting us at info@jaswo.org.

IN THE NEWS: Taco Bell Foundation’s Grant World of Choices Program Events Includes Windsor-Essex (AM800/CKLW)

Guest host Kyle Horner is joined by Karen Gallant, CEO of JA South Western Ontario to talk about the foundation and the benefit it has for students. 

Taco Bell Foundation Grant

Thank you Volunteers!

We’re celebrating our Volunteers for National Volunteer Week and we could not be more proud to do so. Our Volunteers make the difference in bringing relevant hands-on learning to thousands of students in our area. Thank you for your hard work and expertise!

Here are a few Volunteers sharing their JA Experience:

JA SWO NVW2023 – Volunteer Highlights

VIRTUAL PERSONAL FINANCE EVENT for High School Classes – March 28th

JA has an EXCITING new event opportunity for high school classes.

We are offering GRADE 9 – 12 students across Southwestern Ontario, the chance to participate in JA’s ‘Personal Finance’ program in a new a unique way! JA is offering a Hybrid Virtual LIVE event this semester that you won’t want to miss out on!  .

Each session of the ‘Personal Finance’ live event will be delivered by virtual volunteers. Your class can sign into one of the LIVE sessions that best coordinates with your class time. You will have access to the recordings of the additional sessions to complete the full program with your students.

Register Now or Learn more.

IN THE NEWS: “Set to Celebrate” – London Inc Magazine

Junior Achievement hosts 31st Annual London and District Business Hall of Fame Gala honouring laureates Karen Fryday-Field and Joel McLean

THE 31st ANNUAL London and District Hall of Fame Gala will take place tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This year’s gala celebrates the achievements of two exceptional role models: Karen Fryday-Field, managing partner of Meridian Edge Leadership and Governance Consulting Group, and Joel McLean, founder of Info-Tech Research Group.


Set to celebrate

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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MEDIA RELEASE: JA South Western Ontario & JA Waterloo Region have joined forces

July 19, 2021 – London & Kitchener, ON. JA South Western Ontario has officially
merged 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. 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

The two charters have been working closely together to deliver programs in a virtual format
for over a year and plan to continue building on the success of the partnership moving

“As difficult as things have been for everyone during the pandemic, we have seen many
bright spots in the ways our staff, volunteers, and students have been innovating,” said Karen
Gallant, President and CEO of JA South Western Ontario. “The team has done an incredible
job at being resourceful with new ideas and efficiencies to bring essential JA education to as
many students as possible. We’re excited to continue that work together as one robust

JA South Western Ontario 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, and the three offices in Kitchener, London, and Chatham-Kent will be maintained with
current staff.

“We could not be more pleased with this amalgamation,” said Murray Flanagan, Board Chair
for JA Waterloo Region, who will be joining the Board of Directors for JA South Western
Ontario. “Ultimately, our highest priority is to increase our student reach in every city and
town across our region. This merging of resources allows us to streamline how we do the
work so that we can continue to grow and deliver the JA difference to more students.”

Gallant added, “Connecting with youth about financial literacy, work readiness, and
entrepreneurship is so important right now. We are inspiring the community builders of the
future, which will be crucial in the years of economic recovery that may lie ahead.”

JASWO Media Release – JA South Western Ontario and JA Waterloo Region amalgamating – FINAL

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

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.