Our History

Inspiring Students to Succeed in School, Life and Business Since 1919

JA was founded in 1919 by Horace A. Moses, chairman of Strathmore Paper in Springfield, MA. We have since become the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. With over 120 charters worldwide, we inspire students to succeed in a global economy and reach their highest potential.

Creating New Generations of Canadian Leaders
Ralph Baker: Junior Achievement Founder

Ralph Baker: Junior Achievement Founder

Ralph Baker, former president of the Standard Oil Company, brought JA to Canada in 1955. He recruited members of Vancouver’s business community to provide programs for 250 students.
JA Canada was established in 1967, and in the years that followed, we have expanded our programs across the country. Today, JA Canada consists of 14 charter offices and two Alternate Delivery Models serving Canadian youth from coast to coast. To date, 4.4 million Canadian youth have participated in our programs.

Leading the way in Toronto

Junior Achievement of Toronto & York Region (JATYR) was founded in 1968 by the Young Presidents Organization to provide curriculum-enhancing programs to the region’s Public, Catholic, French, and private school systems. Led by an engaged and influential board of governors and directors, JATYR became the largest charter in Canada, having reached more than 750,000 students with business education programs.

Since 1981, Junior Achievement of Peel partnered with businesses and community service groups to deliver JA programs to Peel Region and Simcoe County students in grades six through twelve.

Embed from Getty Images

December 28, 1969: Junior achievers attending a Toronto conference break down the language barrier with a bilingual paper. From left: Sonia DeBruyn, Richard Blanchet and editor Robert Armes. (Photo by Don Dutton/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

A Union of Two Great JA Organizations
Junior Achievement Annual Report

2003 JA Central Ontario Annual Report

In 2003, Junior Achievement of Toronto & York Region and Junior Achievement of Peel amalgamated to form Junior Achievement of Central Ontario. The newly created JA Central Ontario catchment area now covers Toronto, York Region, Peel & Simcoe and has impacted over 1.4 million students since its inception.

The Next Chapter

JA Central Ontario celebrated 50 years of impact in 2018. Click here for more information on how we celebrated.