Volunteer spotlight – Larry Chan

Larry has been involved in JA Central Ontario’s work for over 17 years in many ways. He currently supports our outstanding Company Program students as they create and run their very own businesses from the ground up.

With a long history of supporting JA Central Ontario initiatives, Larry is a veteran Volunteer who brings a wealth of experience to our Company Program. This 18-week program brings together exceptional high school students from across the region, who work together to develop, build and run a business from scratch.

“Student stickiness and their long-term success begins with finding committed and diverse Advisors,” explains Larry. “My senior Advisors and I spend time to recruit for people who think differently – different business sizes, industry, functional expertise, gender, age and stage. With Advisors from varying backgrounds, we may not always get along but I know that we will help our students go from curiosity to confidence by challenging them to be the best version of themselves and layering on experiences they cannot get anywhere else. We want their Tuesday nights to be Event nights.”

As a result, Deloitte Tuesdays have one shared goal: to help students think, act and thrive. His leadership and enthusiasm has led to several big success stories, with his students going on to take part in international competitions as well as winning big in their own careers.

Learning something new every year

Larry has been a JA Volunteer for over 17 years and is passionate about the difference our Company Program makes to young learners. Not only has he helped us to support hundreds of students as a Company Program Advisor, he also supported us as Chair of the JA Central Ontario Board.

By listening to students and what they would like to create, he and his mentors have turned many enthusiastic groups into STEM-capable young leaders ready for the next level. From developing an “Uber for babysitting” web app to a 14 hour data science-centric Hackathon to this year’s edition, launching esports player matching & events platform Stackd.gg, he gives them the head start they need to succeed in high-demand, 21st century careers.

“The Company Program gives students the extra push they need to make them stand out from the crowd,” he says. “They come to us book smart. We activate the next stage. Arm’s length B2B sales pursuits, cobbling together technology solutions where there isn’t an off-the-shelf solution, and providing authentic value to paying customers so their own business can live beyond their time at JA. As a result, our alumni love to return and talk about how Company Program shaped their post-JA lives – from studying at Ivy League schools to discovering their right path including starting their own successful businesses. Success to us is students doing what they want, at the highest and best level.”

And it is not just the students who benefit from this unique 18-week program. Larry and his fellow Advisors learn a great deal every year as a new student cohort create real solutions to real-life opportunities.

“The last time I gamed was on an Atari 2600! Mentoring students that created Stackd.gg convinced myself and multiple advisors to buy gaming laptops, Xbox consoles and Nintendo Switches. We are now playing League of Legends, Animal Crossing and NBA 2K. I just need to find worse players than myself! Lifelong learning is a wonderful thing – as a volunteer, I am as enthusiastic about mentoring students today as I was 17 years ago. Great advisor crew / new friends and we feel like we are making an impact to the future changemakers of the world.”

Are you interested in sharing your expertise with the next generation? Get in touch and join our JA volunteer team!