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Junior Achievement Waterloo Region launches corporate challenge

For 50 years Junior Achievement Waterloo Region (JAWR) has been working to educate young people about business practices. By providing programs such as financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, the organization has spent many decades helping young people succeed in a global economy.

Those from Grade 3 to Grade 12 are welcomed and aided by those who want them to succeed through the delivery of learning in all facets of business success.

One of the more successful programs run by JAWR includes the Company Program which gives high school students the opportunity to take part in an 18-week program that teaches them how to run a business. From brainstorming a product or service to production and sales, the program allows these young people to truly learn what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Melissa Derbyshire, director of philanthropy with JAWR, says those involved are happy to be part of an organization which has helped so many youth achieve success in business.

โ€œI think what Iโ€™m so proud to be part of is helping youth to develop their skills so that they can be successful in their future as well. Thousands of students have gone through our programs over the years, typically around 5,000 each year. And itโ€™s amazing to see the light-bulb moment for them and see what they can achieve while going through our program,โ€ said Derbyshire.

Now, to cap off their 50th anniversary, JAWR is launching the Corporate Challenge, asking companies within Waterloo Region to take part and engage their employees while helping to further the organizationโ€™s goals.

Whether it is through fundraising, creativity, employee participation, or raising community awareness, companies have many ways to win while also inspiring youth to succeed.

โ€œReally itโ€™s just an idea of getting local businesses involved in helping us celebrate our 50 years. So, weโ€™re engaging businesses to engage their employees by doing fun events within their own organization. Maybe itโ€™s a safe distance snowball fight to raise funds for JAWR, or maybe itโ€™s a cute pet photo contest. Maybe dress up day, because for most of us, if weโ€™re working from home, we donโ€™t have those anymore. So, just giving them some fun ideas on how to engage employees and build up some morale in house, as well as to support JAWR and celebrate with us our 50 year anniversary,โ€ said Derbyshire.

โ€œI must say [this] was something that we were thinking about in-house because we were looking for ways to build that team morale and have some more connection to one another and thought that this might really just be a fun way for other organizations to connect as well, or feel a little more connected and do something fun. Particularly in our winter months during a pandemic weโ€™re all feeling pretty isolated. So, [this is] just a way to get together, get connected, and even raise their profile within the community and help out as well.โ€

An additional part of the challenge is the JA Smart Money Challenge, where company teams can compete in a live online trivia game, answering questions related to the three pillars on which the JAWR focuses: financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

The Smart Money Challenge will run live in March.

The Corporate Challenge is on now and runs until March 26. Click here for more information, or to register.

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