Wednesday, 16 December 2015 16:10

Southeast Alberta’s Junior Achievement earns (financial) accolades from women who care

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Shawna Wanke, Canadian Western Bank, Laura Sterling from Junior Achievement of Alberta (Medicine Hat), Tracy Hellman from 100 Women Who Care, Audrey Genereaux from Canadian Western Bank, and 100 Women Who Care's Rachel Kruitbosch. Shawna Wanke, Canadian Western Bank, Laura Sterling from Junior Achievement of Alberta (Medicine Hat), Tracy Hellman from 100 Women Who Care, Audrey Genereaux from Canadian Western Bank, and 100 Women Who Care's Rachel Kruitbosch. Photo contributed

The Junior Achievement Southern Alberta (Medicine Hat and area) program got a nice shot in the arm recently after earning a healthy cheque at the fourth quarter 100 Women Who Care Medicine Hat meeting at the Desert Blume Clubhouse Dec. 7.

The meeting which is themed “December Giving” had the 100 Women who Care have a competition involving three members — Junior Achievement Program of Southeast Alberta, Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter, and AJ’s Loan Cupboard make a five-minute presentation about their organizations and why money would help each group.
After deliberating. it was voted Junior Achievement would earn the money. The money is generated from a $100 donation thrown into a pool from each of the group’s members which is then given to the winner.
Final numbers weren’t available as of press time as members still had until the end of the week to get their donations.
Laura Sterling, regional co-ordinator of Junior Achievement Southern Alberta (Medicine Hat and area), was thrilled as this will allow more programs to be provided in the area free of charge. She had only found out a short time prior to the event they were up for nomination.
“This money will go towards program funding including our World of Choices program for high-school students which runs April 13, 2016 at the Cypress Centre,” explains Sterling. “The average cost for one Junior Achievement program to go to a school is $500. This supports volunteer/ teacher/student co-ordination, training and program delivery (75 per cent of funding) and classroom materials for students and teachers (25 per cent of funding). The Average cost per program delivery is $500 per class. All of the monies raised locally stays locally and is used to support our program deliveries and also helps us ensure any school that wants to bring our programs to their school can. The more money raised the more programs we can offer.”
100 Women who Care is a group of women who own or are heavily involved in business in Medicine Hat and area. It was a group initiated a few years ago by Tracy Hellman and  Rachel Kruitbosch, to help with networking but allowing women in a variety of fields to be able to get together, have speakers, share ideas on an array of topics and help the community and region.
Kruitbosch says there were about 90 registered for the meeting, but depending on how many contribute she expects this year’s winning prize to be in the $5,600-$6,000 range.
She says the 100 per cent grassroots group gives all of the money they generate back to the membership and community. She is grateful for those who were part of this year’s “December Giving” event.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied,” says Kruitbosch but understands with the economy people need to watch their bottom lines. “Hopefully we can do as much as we can, but I (always) wish we could do more.”
The Dec. 7 presentation to Junior Achievement (JA) was made by a proud volunteer who actually submitted JA’s name as a possible beneficiary.
“One of our volunteers, Audrey Genereaux from Canadian Western Bank, who was the one that nominated Junior Achievement, talked about why she volunteers for Junior Achievement and why she thinks they should choose this organization to donate to,” explains Sterling. “Then I talked about what Junior Achievement is and what programs we offer in Medicine Hat and quoted a few stats from the Boston Consulting Group findings of their research they did a few years ago of our alumni.  Then I read an impact statement from one of our students.”
Sterling was excited because she believes there is a need for the kind of educational programming they are able to access, not only because of the tough economic times, but because young people should have a general understanding of personal and corporate finance, economics and business. It’s a premise on which Junior Achievement started in Alberta more than 50 years ago.
“There’s always been a need to teach these things to students, especially at a young age,” explains Sterling. “The support given to JA Medicine Hat shows me these women care about the students in this area and that these important programs are accessible to as many kids as possible. It’s tells me that they understand that it’s never too early to learn to budget or start your own business. We are giving students the opportunity to meet with volunteers from the real world with real world experience to learn valuable life skills that will stay with them forever and will help them prepare for what lies ahead. 
“In this sometimes doom and gloom economic outlook, JA programs inspire kids to see beyond today and their current life and dream big about their futures, because they are our future.  This support shows me these women see the importance of inspiring and preparing students.”
Kruitbosch notes the next 100 Women Who Care meeting is slated for March.

Read 13288 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 16:22
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor