By: Korie Marshall
This fall, youth in Valemount and throughout the Columbia Basin will be able to learn about entrepreneurship and the viability of self-employment as a career option when Junior Achievement of British Columbia expands into the region. The expansion is possible through a partnership with Columbia Basin Trust, which is contributing $300,000 over three years to support business education for local youth.
Junior Achievement programs are delivered free of charge to students in grades 5 to 12 at the invitation of host teachers, and are facilitated by local business people who bring their experience and expertise into the classroom. Junior Achievement content focuses on three pillars – work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy – and aligns with the provincial curriculum. Programs such as Business Basics, Dollars with Sense, Economics for Success, and Company Program, provide students with rich, interactive learning experiences through a mix of individual, team and class activities, as well as digital content. Details on these and other JA programs can be found at jabc.org/programs.
Rosine Hage-Moussa, spokesperson for Junior Achievement of BC, says the program will be available in Valemount, and they’ll be looking for teachers who are interested in bringing the program into their classrooms, as well as volunteers from the local business community. There is no limit on the number of students involved, but it will be a matter of how many volunteers are available to deliver the programs. Hage-Moussa says local business people would be asked to come into the classroom to deliver a program which can be an hour, half day or full day, depending on the program. They would receive training and all program materials from Junior Achievement of BC to help them deliver the programs.
CBT supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to Basin residents, and youth entrepreneurship fits within both its youth and economic strategic plans.
“Businesses of all types help keep our Basin communities vibrant and strong, so instilling a sense of entrepreneurship at a young age is important,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “This partnership will help expand career options for our youth.”
Jan Bell-Irving, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of British Columbia, remarked, “This is a unique partnership which will help us undertake significant expansion into a region that has been previously underserved relative to other parts of the province. We are excited to be working with Columbia Basin Trust to bring business programming for youth to the Basin and serve more B.C. students.”
Junior Achievement programming reaches over 32,500 students annually across the province. To date, JA has been able to offer only a limited number of programs in the Basin, supported by staff at a distance. This unique partnership with the Trust will provide a dedicated JABC coordinator in the region in order to facilitate program delivery with the goal of reaching at least 10% of the Basin student population in grades 5 to 12 by 2017.
Program delivery in the Basin will begin in the fall of 2014.