Participation in Junior Achievement (JA) programs produces more financially literate graduates who save more, borrow less and go bankrupt less often than the average Canadian, according to a comprehensive study completed by the Boston Consulting Group in 2010.
The study also shows that JA graduates are three times less likely to spend more than they earned, 25 per cent less likely to be unemployed, 50 per cent more likely to open their own business and three times more likely to hold a middle to senior management job.
Each year, TransCanada employees deliver an important component of that JA program – the Economics for Success (EFS) programs to students from across Calgary.
“The volunteers taught me a lot about a budget and made me realize I need to start thinking about the future now.” – Junior Achievement student participant from St. Bonaventure School
The Economics for Success program helps Grade 9 students develop a positive attitude towards education and career planning while recognizing the financial costs of living on their own. The program also encourages students to see education as an opportunity to broaden their life choices and to see that learning is a life-long process.
Fifty-six employee volunteers mentored more than 540 students in 18 classrooms to help these young people develop a positive attitude towards education and career planning while recognizing the financial costs of living on their own; all the while earning $8 an hour in volunteer rewards to direct to the cause of their choosing through Empower.
“We are so thankful for our volunteers from TransCanada,” notes Kimberly Bennett, manager, elementary and middle school programs, Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta. “These individuals bring practical and personal business expertise into the classroom.
“They share elements of their own personal success, encourage students to realize the value of high school and post-secondary education, and encourage students to develop confidence, leadership and critical thinking skills.”
One student from St. Bonaventure School noted that “the volunteers taught me a lot about a budget and made me realize I need to start thinking about the future now.”
Volunteers challenged themselves
“It was quite a challenge to be front and center presenting a section,” says Eric Willis, corporate mapping lead in geospatial data integrity.
“It was a valuable experience as it puts you out there, presenting to a large group of 35 students.
“I found I had the skills – it was nerve racking, but rewarding to accomplish that.”
TransCanada has been a sponsor and supporter of Junior Achievement for more than 15 years, and has provided more than half a million dollars in support.
The company also participated in other JA activities including the Company Program and the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.
Also in 2014, TransCanada supported Junior Achievement’s newest pilot program which aims to adapt the Economics for Success material for Aboriginal students. Click to read more about our partnership and the Aboriginal EFS program.