Junior Achievement of Central Ontario

To inspire and educate young Canadians to experience free enterprise, understand business and economics, and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

Junior Achievement (JA) is the largest non-profit youth education organization in Canada dedicated to inspiring and preparing youth to succeed in a global and ever changing environment. For over 55 years, more than 3.7M students have taken part in JA education programs. This past year alone, over 230,000 students in more than 400 communities across Canada have benefitted from over 1.4M hours of instructional time delivered by more than 13,000 dedicated business mentors. Programs, delivered free-of-charge, are intended to support student development along three major axes:

- Financial Literacy: to deliver an improved understanding of financial concepts

- Work Readiness: to prepare students with the skills required in the business world

- Entrepreneurship: to develop skills and foster the ambition for entrepreneurial ventures

Accolades and Accomplishments

In 2011, the Boston Consulting Group conducted a study to find out more about the impact of Junior Achievement on youth in Canada.  The results they found were remarkable…

- Junior Achievement creates an annual return of $45 for every one dollar spent, in terms of societal prosperity.

- Over 75% of Achievers cite Junior Achievement as having a significant impact in developing their financial literacy and decision-making skills.

- Junior Achievers earn average incomes 50% higher than non-participants.

- Junior Achievers are three times more likely to spend less than they earn, and are far less likely to be unemployed or rely on social assistance.

Our Programs How We Do It

JACO has several programs that we deliver in classrooms between Grade 5- Grade 12.  We focus on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills.  JACO programs are unique in that we offer an impactful and meaningful employee engagement opportunity.   The programs are delivered by volunteers who offer an exciting and educational day for students. Youth have the opportunity to be mentored by these volunteers, learn from their life experiences, and recognize from their volunteers the importance of staying in school and pursuing their goals and dreams. Without volunteers, JACO’s programs would not have such an in-depth impact across multiple regions of Ontario. JACO’s volunteers have been instrumental in initiating new objectives, testing curriculum, and working side-by-side with JACO staff to increase the number of students participating in a JACO program. In return, volunteers learn valuable leadership skills, give back to both their community and their workplace, and have an understanding that they have made a significant difference in the lives of our leaders of tomorrow.

Day Programs

Junior Achievement of Central Ontario offers one day volunteer engagement opportunities.  Volunteers teach our financial literacy curriculum in Grade 5-8 for one full school day and are provided with all of the training and teaching materials prior to their volunteer teaching day.  

Funding and Program Partners

The continued support of our corporate partners has resulted in Junior Achievement reputable impact on the next generation of business leaders and the Canadian economy.  We sincerely thank you for your generous fianncial and volunteer contributions.  A complete list of our corporate and community partners can be found in our 2011 Annual Report.  Listed below are our supporters who donate mor than $25,000: Scotiabank, TDBank, RBC Foundation, Vale, Bank of Montreal, Capital One, Manulife Financial, Deloitte, P&G, Enbridge, Alcatel-Lucent Canada Inc, SAP Canada Inc., Business Development of Canada, HSBC Finance Canada, HSBC Bank Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Edward Jones, Citi Foundation, Staples Advantage, Davis+Henderson, GE Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Program Impact

In 2011, Junior Achievement of Central Ontario positively impacted 63,960 young people and 4,384 volunteers donated 62,000 hours of their time and professional espertise to teach these young people. 

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

"In 2010, the youth (15-24 years old) unemployment rate in the Toronto Region was 18.1%, 3.3 percentage points above the national average"

In 2011, the Boston Consulting Group found that Junior Achievement graduates are more likely to become entrepreneurs, create jobs and power the Canadian economy. 

Participant Vignette

“One of my students mentioned how after this presentation he was going home to hug his mom. Many of the students were able to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and were able to set more realistic goals.”

– Teacher

“I do believe that my JA experience has positively contributed to helping youth build on their future aspirations. I was able to see that many students came out of this experience learning a number of things that will help prepare them for the future.” – Volunteer

Company Program

Under the coaching and support of corporate volunteer mentors, JACO's Company Program is an 18 week after-school program which guides high school students through the process of organizing and running their own company, from inception to liquidation, using real products, real dollars and real consumers. Students are coached on:

  • establishing company goals
  • developing effective marketing and sales strategies
  • incorporation
  • raising capital
  • liquidation
  • preparing a business plan
  • distribution of dividends
  •  production
  • issuing a shareholders report

Funding and Program Partners

Our company program sponsors generously provide funding and/or volunteer business advisors for our high school students involved in this life changing program.  Some of our company program sponsors for 2011-2012 include: BDC, Celestica, Chubb Insurance, CIBC, Compass Group Canada, Deloitte, Liberty International, IBM, KPMG (USFC), Manulife Financial, Newmarket Hydro, PwC LLP, and RBC.

Program Impact

This past year, we impacted 1100 students who started 39 companies.  This was made possible with 200 volunteers who collectively donated over 10,000 hours of their time and expertise to mentor these remarkable high school students.

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

"The average monthly social assistance caseload for the City of Toronto was 94,635 in 2010, 6.93% higher than in 2009 when there were an average 88,505 cases each month"

Junior Achievers are three times more likely to spend less than they earn and are far less likely to be unemployed or rely on social assistance. (Boston Consulting Group 2011)

Participant Vignette

“Junior Achievement has truly changed my life. Coming from where I came from, being a shy, quiet student who did not even have enough confidence to attend a school presentation for JA alone, if someone would have told me the first time I walked into JA that in three years I would be running the second best company in North America and be the recipient of a prestigious national scholarship, I would have thought they were crazy. At that time, I wouldn’t have dreamt, let alone thought that I could do it. But JA taught me I could. Looking back on my time in the Company Program, I still wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t gone to Junior Achievement. I would not be where I am today: studying business, something I actually enjoy and am passionate about, with confidence in my abilities and myself. I would not have developed many useful life skills applicable to any activity or career I choose, and I definitely would not have the ability to know I was part of something amazing. JA helped me find out who I am and what I am capable of. I am extremely fortunate to have be able to benefit from Junior Achievement, and I am thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way.” – Student

What You Can Do

Day Programs

Activities a donation will support

At Junior Achievement of Central Ontario, we are currently only impacting 10% of our catchment area.  An investment in our day programs will allow us to reach and inspire more youth across Central Ontario in becoming our future leaders. 

Donation impact

With finanical support, Junior Achievement of Central Ontario will be able to reach our goal of impacting and inspiring 3300 students and reaching 3.3M by 2015. 

Company Program

Activities a donation will support

Greater financial support will enable us to equip more students with the business and financal skills they need in order to be successful entrepreneurs.  For every $5000 we can raise, we can start another student Company Program with 40 students. 

Donation impact

Junior Achievement graduates are three times more likely to hold senior and middle management positions later in life and will earn 50% more, on average, than those who do not benefit from the program (Boston Consulting Group 2011).  Your donation will ensure that we are investing in our future leaders. 


Yvonne SoBeach
Director of Revenue Development
416.360.5252 x233
Charitable Number: 107554297RR0001

Finance & Governance


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