From Here to There: Shannon MacLean, JA Alumni

Junior Achievement gave me a sense of confidence that as a youth shaped who I became as an adult. In high school I participated in the Company Program during my grade 11 and 12 year. These two years allowed me to understand and have a new appreciation for the work my grandparents put into being successful entrepreneurs and humans. Junior Achievement taught me the important lessons of the human connection in business. Many times, business can be buried in the essential numbers, what I learned was each of those numbers, every dollar is connected to people. It is about finding a product or service that people need, it is about talking to your customers and employees, finding out what motivates them. Business is about the people who you surround yourself with. At the end of the day the most successful businesses are built on passion. 

After high school that passion and sense of hard work paying off stayed with me throughout the years. 3 years ago I was sitting in my office when an email came out looking for volunteers for the Company Program here in Pictou County. I was excited and happy to take on the challenge. One of the best parts of becoming a volunteer Advisor has been watching the students growth and seeing them get part time jobs that they work hard to succeed at. And in a full circle moment, as JA helped me connect and appreciate my grandparents hard work, my daughter joined JA and it has helped us grow closer together. 

To anyone thinking business is not for them because it is boring, I challenge you to join JA Company Program. To anyone thinking volunteering is too much work, I challenge you to get involved. JA Company Program is what you make it, what it has been for me as a student and an Advisor is meeting new people, forming friendships beyond the JA doors, standing on the edge and taking chances, laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, having my heart swell with pride, and realizing the numbers are secondary to my passion and the people. 

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world." ~HARRIET TUBMAN

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From Here to There: Ben Heimert, JA Alumni

My Junior Achievement experience started in 2006 during my grade 12 year when I joined the Company program. I had no previous experience with JA, but was selected as the VP Finance of my company, Chitty Chitty Bag Bag. We sold tye-tied,reusable shopping bags that we sewed ourselves. Although I was interested in managing finances I soon found out I was even more drawn to managing the production processes. In this way JA helped further assure me of the career path I was heading towards.

I want on to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering, and am now working as a mechanical design engineer at a small start-up: Well Engineered. We operate in design & build capacity, conducting contract work while also bringing to market our own designs and ideas. The skills I developed in JA have been invaluable in helping me succeed and flourish in a small business environment. These skills include leadership, critically evaluating product ideas, and financial literacy, not to mention the entrepreneurial spirit that JA fostered in me.

I returned to the Company Program two years ago as an advisor. I feel like I’ve learned just as much this time around compared to when I was student. Helping to guide achievers through the same experiences and tribulations I’ve had while seeing them grow in their abilities and confidence has been extremely rewarding. Additionally the Company Program has allowed me to hone my mentorship and leadership skills, refresh my entrepreneurial skills, and make some lasting connections and bonds.

I am extremely grateful to Junior Achievement for the experiences and opportunities it has granted me and I hope my involvement as an Alumni isn’t quite over yet. 

 Ben (pictured left) along side fellow Advisor, Chad (pictured right) and one of their students Ryan (center). 

Ben (pictured left) along side fellow Advisor, Chad (pictured right) and one of their students Ryan (center). 


Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia  |  1550 Bedford Highway, Suite 300
Bedford  |   NS  | B4A 1E6
T. 902.454.4564  |  F. 902.454.4514  |  info@janovascotia.ca