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 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