Our Impact

Inspiring and empowering young people

World of Choices: Empowering Young Women 2023

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World of Choices: Empowering Young Women was a one-of-a-kind event open to all high school students, celebrating and championing women and allyship in the workplace.

On March 8th, 2023, we welcomed teachers, volunteers, JA partners and over 240 high school students from Central Ontario to our Empowering Young Women event, celebrating International Women's Day! This event inspired young women to plan exciting careers in a range of industries and invited young men and non-binary allies to join in conversations, through engaging speakers, about the importance of allyship and building a gender-inclusive world that championed women in the workplace. Students explored career opportunities and were inspired by volunteer industry experts and speakers from a wide range of sectors!

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“The keynote speech and the mentor rotations were educational, as they provided us with opportunities to learn more about ourselves” 

Student, Vaasavi K., Agincourt CI
Empowering Young Women 2023

As students navigate a changing world and look ahead to an uncertain future, it’s never been more important for them to find rewarding careers that match their values and future vision. Finding your dream career path is never easy, but with the help of mentors and dedicated volunteers, we can equip the next generation with the tools to succeed.

Become the change-making mentor young people need today and consider signing up as a JA volunteer to share your career journey, experiences and stories with students and to motivate and inspire them as they plan their future careers.


Meet our 2023 speakers

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Event Emcee

Alicia "Ace" West - Sports Hosts, Toronto Argos & Scarborough Shooting Stars

Alicia is a sports host and podcaster based in Toronto. She holds positions with the Toronto Argonauts as the in-stadium game host and as the only woman PA announcer in Canada for the CEBL’s Scarborough Shooting Stars. She is currently the co-host on the biggest black podcast in Canada called Extra Gravy Show. As well as a co-host on Millennial’s 2 Millionaires, a podcast that explores real estate, entrepreneurship and investing.


Keynote Speaker

Karen Craggs-Milne - Vice President of ESG ThoughtExchange 

Karen Craggs Milne is an Antiracism & Diversity Expert. Karen is a leading global go-to expert for organizations who want to get equality work right. A proud Kenyan Canadian, Karen Craggs Milne is a recognized global expert with over 20 years of international experience promoting equity, diversity, anti-racism, gender equality, and inclusion.

Whether it is under a tree in a rural village in Ghana or a boardroom with C-Suite Executives, Karen’s authentic and engaging approach promises to educate, transform and inspire you into meaningful action.

Karen CM

Industry expert speakers

Hilary McLean - Head of Commercial Operations, Church & Dwight Canada 

As a seasoned sales and strategy executive, Hilary has extensive Canadian and North American experience with leading consumer packaged goods companies working on billion dollar brands to deliver sales and P&L growth. She has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, revenue growth, analytics, strategic planning and leading the organization.


Reetu Kumra - Director Research and Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Canada Investment Management 

Reetu has 13 years of investment management and consulting experience, most recently in fixed-income and equity research. Ms. Kumra earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a Master of Arts from Harvard University and an Honours Bachelor of Science in statistics, biology and mathematics from the University of Toronto. Ms. Kumra is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charterholder.

Meet our 2023 sponsors
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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.