Trying to summarize something that impacted your life immensely is one of the toughest things someone could ask you to do. For me, that something is Junior Achievement. When I say JA changed my life, I mean that it helped shape the young woman that I am today. Before my first Company Program in Grade 10, I was a rather uninvolved, shy individual with no clue on the type of career path I wanted to pursue with my life. Junior Achievement was a new program at my high school, and when one of the Program Managers came to my classroom, something about the program description peaked my interest so my friends and I decided to join. Initially, I had thought that I would gain some knowledge about the business world, however, what I learned was so much more than that. While I wasn’t wrong, I learned how to kickstart a company, manage company marketing and finances, and how to keep up with production demands, I also developed numerous interpersonal skills, invaluable leadership experience and was able to network with many business professionals throughout my three years in Company Program. I was given the opportunity to improve upon my public speaking skills as well with Junior Achievement by emceeing two Junior Achievement awards galas, competing in numerous Pitch It competitions and attending and speaking at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala in Toronto. Unlike most extracurriculars in highschool, Junior Achievement doesn’t stop offering opportunities for personal growth once you graduate. So far throughout my University experience, I have been kept involved as an Alumni by speaking at events, attending networking sessions, volunteering with other programs such as Economics with Success and I have always been invited to attend trial runs of their new programs, such as #Adulting. The organization truly isn’t just about developing young entrepreneurs, it’s about developing the next generation's strong, independent leaders, whether they pursue business or not.
Currently, I am entering my fourth year at Dalhousie University pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. I have remained quite active in the Dalhousie community, and am currently completing my second co-op work placement in Mulgrave, Nova Scotia. I owe my love and prosper for my degree solely to Junior Achievement because prior to my involvement, I had never really thought of Engineering as a choice for me. I’ve always been a lover of math and sciences, which is why my initial degree choice was a Bachelor in Science, however, Junior Achievement provided me with a love for business too. I find Engineering to be the happy in-between, allowing me to explore all areas of my interest. Thank you Junior Achievement for shaping me into the young woman I am today, and helping pave me, and many others, a pathway to success.