This week’s Non-Profit Highlight celebrates the 100th anniversary of Junior Achievement BC (JABC)!
We spoke with the Director of Community Engagement of JABC, Cheryl Borgmann, about how they work to ensure that the natural world will continue to be preserved for its own intrinsic value and for the benefit of all.
Junior Achievement BC — 100 Years of Brighter Futures
JABC prepares and inspires youth to succeed in a global economy through business education programs focused on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, giving them the skills and confidence they need to become leaders of tomorrow. Happy anniversary, JABC!
Enjoy our conversation with Cheryl Borgmann of JABC!
How did you get involved with JABC?
I initially joined JA British Columbia (JABC) on the program side of our business. I had always worked in the corporate world but had been drawn to the world of non-profit for quite some time. When I learned about JABC and how they bring financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs to youth into B.C. classrooms, I was immediately sold. The role was so perfectly aligned with what I saw myself doing, I knew I was the perfect candidate for the job. Call it divine intervention!
Describe your team and all of those involved with JABC.
The staff at JABC is amazing. We are over 60 years old, but are part of JA Worldwide, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. I feel incredibly lucky to have such incredible co-workers. Our development team takes care of the fundraising side of business. As we look to offer close to 1500 free programs and special events across the province this year, the development team makes sure we have the funding available to run these programs and events. On the other side is our program team. They are the “feet on the street” working with volunteers and teachers to deliver our programs to B.C. students in grades 4-12.
What is a current project that your team is working on?
One of our key goals is to deliver an important program, JABC TechWorks, into 5 regions annually in BC by 2023. JABC TechWorks is a one-day multi-school program exposing youth to technology related careers. Delivered to students in grades 9-10, it highlights career options and educational pathways required to access these careers. In B.C., the fastest growing sector is technology and our province is facing a skills shortage in this area. JABC TechWorks encourages youth to pursue skills to equip them for this future. We deliver the program in Vancouver and Victoria, and look to reach into Kelowna, Surrey and Northern B.C. over the next 5 years.
What challenges have you and your team overcome?
The biggest challenge for the program team is ensuring we meet our program targets each school year and find enough volunteers with business experience to support these deliveries. As with any non-profit reliant on volunteers, we’re competing for people’s time in a very busy world. That’s why we are so incredibly grateful to our 800+ volunteers who go into BC classrooms and empower youth. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.
What has been the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced working with JABC?
It always comes back to the impact we have on students. Learning that you changed a life or inspired a student in some way. Our programs help students understand how proper money management can improve their lives, how to prepare to enter the world of work and even spark their entrepreneurial spirit. You can’t beat that feeling. There’s a reason why JA has been so successful for 100 years. Our programs change lives!
How can others contribute to JABC’s work?
JABC is incredibly reliant on our volunteers. As we look to increase our program deliveries to almost 2000 in the next 5 years, this means our need for volunteers also increases. We are always looking for amazing volunteers to deliver programs across the province. JA programs are fun, hands-on and can transform a young person’s life. Volunteer with us! Learn more at jabc.ca.
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