Tag Archives: kids

Volunteering at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala

CBHF 2016_282(JA Central Ontario Achiever, Andre Severin, speaks on stage at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala Dinner)

I had a phenomenal experience at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala.  My group of volunteers and I met top leaders in the business world – it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  We had an amazing time volunteering, and were fortunate enough to enjoy dinner among such important people.

Hearing the stories of this year’s inductees to the Business Hall of Fame was very inspiring.  They have accomplished many things being leaders of their respective companies.  Listening to Frank Hasenfratz’s experience, immigrating to Canada from Hungary, and then creating a substantial company from a small shop, was a story of true entrepreneurship.   Continuing his legacy, Linda Hasenfratz grew Linamar into a billion dollar company under her leadership.  It was incredible to hear what she has done during her time leading the company.  We also heard the remarkable stories of former CEOs, Gord Nixon and Ed Clark, who ran two of Canada’s top banks.  Gord Nixon was the CEO of RBC for over 10 years, growing the bank and increasing its profits.  Ed Clark, the former CEO of TD Bank Group, brought his customer first mentality to the bank, guiding it to multiple awards for outstanding customer service.  Hearing both of their experiences running multi-billion dollar banks was nothing short of extraordinary.  The final inductee, Rick George, grew Suncor Energy from $1 billion to $50 billion under his leadership as CEO.  It was astounding to hear how he grew the company to Canada’s largest public energy company.  All five inductees were an inspiration to all of us volunteers as we heard everything they did to get to this point.  After hearing their stories, I want to work harder to achieve such success.

EDITED CROP(JA volunteers at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala)

In addition to hearing the inductees’ stories, I was able to meet top leaders in the business world, while volunteering at the Gala.  We assisted guests by directing them to their tables, and also had the privilege of speaking with them.  A highlight of my experience was certainly introducing Frank Hasenfratz to all the guests at the start of the night.  At the event, I was also able to meet other amazing achievers, and made great friends.  We enjoyed each other’s company throughout the entire day, and I look forward to the next time I see them.  I am thankful to JA Canada for the opportunity to volunteer at the Gala and to meet such successful business leaders.

Andre Severin
Achiever, JA Central Ontario


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Finally, check out JA Canada’s brand NEW instagram account @JA_Canada for photos from key events and daily activities!

JA Award Winners Reflect Back on the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala

CBHF 2016_114(Left to Right: Jordan Williams, Tiffany Hou, Mairi McKinnon, Nataleigh Ballantyne, Maude Keyser, Taylor Manning, Liat Fainman-Adelman)

Each year, JA Canada recognizes top students from across the country with our National Awards and Scholarship program. With over 350 student applications, it is quite the task to narrow down and select the top qualified candidates!

Winning our prestigious awards can come with the amazing opportunity of attending and speaking at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala dinner. This year, we welcomed six students from across the country to Toronto, ON for a few days and an exceptional experience in the city. These students were the winners of the Deloitte Inspiration Awards, Peter Mansbridge Positive Change and Youth Leadership Awards.

Their adventure included watching a Toronto Raptors playoff game at Jurassic Park and taking in the sights from the top of the CN Tower. Thanks to our partners at Deloitte, our students also were able to participate in a hands on workshop to better prepare them for their speeches on stage in front of 1,000 top business executives at the gala dinner.

Student award pic 1

All six winners knocked their speeches out of the park and were a highlight of the night for all attendees!

Three of our awards winners describe their experiences below:

Being in Toronto was quite the experience, despite residing in the North Toronto area. The three day trip was a unique one that was befitting for a celebrity. Our itinerary was jam packed with things like public speaking workshops, hair and makeup, tours around the city and VIP after-parties. If that wasn’t enough, I was able to spend my days with some of the most accomplished Junior Achievers I have ever met. I am so thankful for this incredible experience! – Liat Fainman-Adelman, JA Central Ontario

My trip to Toronto sponsored by JA Canada and Deloitte is an experience I will never forget. I have to admit that I was bit nervous going by myself and staying with people I didn’t even know but as soon as I met the other students I felt like I had known them all my life. Everyone was so like-minded, respectful, fun and professional, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend time with. Our chaperon was also amazing and made all of us feel comfortable and welcomed by her fun and enthusiastic personality. Before the busy day of the gala we spent time exploring downtown Toronto; we went for dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant, watched some of the Raptors game at Jurassic park and enjoyed the beautiful night view from the CN Tower. The night of the Gala was extraordinary; I met so many inspiring and influential business leaders along with Peter Mansbridge. I wish I could do it all over again because it was definitely a huge highlight in my life. – Taylor Manning, JA Newfoundland & Labrador.

Student award pic 2

When I was informed that I was a recipient of the Deloitte Inspiration Award, which includes a trip to Toronto to attend the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala, I was overjoyed. Once I arrived in Toronto and met the dedicated team of JA staff, I quickly learned that these two days would be ones that I would never forget. It was inspiring to see the amount of hard work that JA Canada puts into making the gala event a success. Also, it was amazing to see all of the support that this worthy organization receives from Canadian business executives.  My experience in Toronto with Junior Achievement was like none other. It was an incredible way to transition from a Junior Achievement company member to a Junior Achievement alumni. – Mairi McKinnon, JA Nova Scotia

We are extremely proud of all our 2016 National Award winners! Our next round of awards open in January 2017; it’s never too early to start preparing to apply!


Student award pic3____

Be sure to ‘LIKE’ JA Canada’s Facebook page and ‘SHARE’ this post with your friends & family!

You can also follow and interact with JA Canada’s official twitter account @JA_Canada.

Finally, check out JA Canada’s brand NEW instagram account @JA_Canada for photos from key events and daily activities!

An Early Lesson In Financial Literacy Creates Empowered Adults

As a parent and as a teacher, I grapple daily with the question of how to seed the experience and knowledge for kids to become financially responsible adults. Instinctively, and for several years now, I have been experimenting on my kids by empowering them to make purchases, research buying decisions, invest their money in family projects, give to charity and save for things they don’t know they want today.

My firm belief is that if my kids are to become financially savvy young adults, they must have diverse and varied experience with handling money as soon as they can understand what it represents. If this education is absent, there are some clear dangers in navigating life’s money minefield.

From my vantage point as I work to shape the financial literacy programs offered by JA Canada, I see four risks for young adults if they don’t have a solid portfolio of financial experience as children.

To me, dependency is the opposite of freedom. To have a fulfilling life one must feel that one has the power to make decisions that create the life one wants to live. Living paycheque to paycheque happens when you run out of cash before paying bills, buying food, or rewarding yourself. I recall vividly how incredibly stifling this situation was emotionally and spiritually when I was a university student. The last thing any parent wants for their child is financial dependency on them well into adulthood.

Skewed Values
Today’s consumer landscape is confusing. Young people are constantly being influenced by various and sophisticated messages designed to channel their desire to buy. This unchecked consumerism contradicts any instruction a person might receive about saving or fiscal responsibility. Without intervention with the full weight of your parental influence, kids risk developing unrealistic and unhealthy expectations that they are entitled to the latest trends. Worse yet, they may learn happiness is dependent on full participation in rabid consumerism.

Constraining Debt
On a weekly basis, I hear of more reports that Canadians are carrying record levels of consumer debt. With interest rates seemingly locked down below the rate of inflation, many rational adults succumb to their desires to improve, redecorate and upgrade. Of course, there are solid financial reasons to leverage credit to create stability (i.e. mortgage) or capitalize on real opportunity (i.e. postsecondary education), but kids without money smarts will have trouble seeing the constraints and potentially paralyzing effects of unhealthy debt on their future options.

Sinking Self-Esteem
Without positive money habits, the risk of a big financial mistake in young adulthood is higher. The cascading consequences of such a circumstance can turn the confident and empowered into the shaken and demoralized. It would be hard to quantify the long term, compounding effects of a false start to adult life, but surely this something we all would like to mitigate for our kids.

Of course, it’s not all bad. The opportunities in equipping kids with money mojo far exceed the dangers of not doing so. This is the spirit of Financial Literacy Month and the motivation of the thousands of volunteers who deliver our JA Dollars with Sense program in Canada. Together we are striving to be an upstream solution to the risks I see above.

As always, I am interested in your thoughts and reactions. Why is an early financial education important to you? What perils are you preventing by equipping kids with money mojo?

Stephen Lippa,
Vice-President, Education & Digital Strategy, JA Canada

This post by Stephen Lippa originally appeared in The Huffington Post on 11/18/2015.