Inspiring and empowering young people
Building a resilient and tech-forward organization with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation
On Friday, local MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam met with the staff, volunteers and members of JA Central Ontario team to hear how a $139,800 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has made an impact. The grant, awarded in 2022, has been used to help the organization improve and build on its digital impact and focus on security in an ever-changing world.
“JA Central Ontario and their team have made incredible progress with the help of the Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Kristyn Wong-Tam, MPP for Toronto Centre. “Within a year, they have upgraded their programming into the digital world. An initiative that has allowed them to continue their important work in youth empowerment and skill building, but with a digital-first approach. Thank you to OTF and JA Central Ontario for their enduring commitment to Ontario communities.”
The grant supported the upgrade of digital technology across the organization, including crucial hardware and software that has allowed JA to bring learning to life effectively in a digital world. The funds were also used to strengthen JA’s resilience and security, futureproofing important internal systems and processes.
“Thanks to this generous grant, JA Central Ontario has been able to develop its technological infrastructure and guarantee continued impact in a changing world,” said Jennifer Holmes Weier, President and CEO at JA Central Ontario. “We are grateful to OTF for helping us ensure a robust digital-first approach, impacting thousands of youth across our region. This grant has also allowed us to build a resilient and relevant organization, ready to support young people for years to come.”
As a result of these digital changes, JA Central Ontario has found itself looking to strengthen and expand its existing technological infrastructure. It was key that JA increase the online access to its unique learning experiences for more young people – as well as building a secure, futureproof workplace. A digital-first approach has since become vital to empowering youth across Central Ontario with key life skills, complementing in-person learning and opening up JA opportunities to even more students.
As a youth-centred charity, JA Central Ontario works together with a dedicated network of volunteers, partners and educators to deliver immersive learning in work readiness, financial health and entrepreneurship. Like many organizations, JA Central Ontario was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, turning to digital solutions to ensure young people continued to benefit from its important work even in challenging times.
About JA Central Ontario
JA Central Ontario envisions a world in which young people have the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. They want to make sure all young people are economically empowered with the skills, confidence and networks to shape the future.
As a youth-centred charity, JA Central Ontario works together with a dedicated network of volunteers, partners and educators to deliver immersive learning in work readiness, financial health, entrepreneurship and more. JA students benefit from mentorship and real-world experiences, transforming their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and aspirations as they build their futures.
JA Central Ontario impacts students in Halton, Peel, Toronto, York, Durham and Simcoe regions. They are part of one of the world’s most-impactful youth-serving social good organizations – JA Worldwide – and they work closely with our national network, JA Canada.
About the Ontario Trillium Foundation
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grantmaking in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.