Our Impact

Inspiring and empowering young people

JA Central Ontario and CIBC’s rich partnership spanning over 20 years continues to create a lasting and positive impact in the lives of Canadian youth

Interview Night 2023 (15)

Photo by: Samuel Oh

CIBC has been a proud partner of JA Central Ontario and its life-changing learning experiences that align with several aspects of the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum - bringing the world of entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy to life for students.


Over the past five years alone, 720 CIBC volunteers have inspired over 13,000 local youth across Central Ontario – shaping the lives of the next generation of Canadian leaders through JA’s Economics for Success and JA Company Program. And in most recent years, CIBC has generously supported the enabling JA’s Interview Night - a one-of-a-kind event that recognizes the exceptional work and accomplishments of JA Company Program youth entrepreneurs who have been nominated for and shined in areas of leadership, finance, marketing, sales, and other facets of business management.

“It’s important now more than ever to ensure that the next generation holds the necessary tools to create a bright future for themselves," said Steve Tyers, Board of Directors of JA Central Ontario and SVP of National Sales and Effectiveness from CIBC. “And I’m very proud to be a part of a solution and one of positive change and measurable impact created between the partnership between JA Central Ontario and CIBC.”

Rosette Kassar is part of a long list of dedicated CIBC volunteers creating meaningful change in the lives of Canadian youth. Rosette recently spoke about her experience teaching a class of grade 8 students through JA’s Economics for Success learning experience.

“Community matters to me, and the work I do with Junior Achievement is really fulfilling! I want these children to dream big and reach their potential, despite the anxiety they may be feeling about the future.”

Learn all about Rosette’s inspiring JA volunteer story below.

We are CIBC: Rosette Kassar’s Story

Personal and Business Banking – Thornhill, ON

A few months back, we were able to meet a group of grade 8s in-person for a half-day “Economics for Success” session for the first time coming out of the pandemic. The students were so focused that the principal came into the classroom for 15-20 minutes when I was presenting and mentioned that he’d never seen the students so engaged. Even in my 10 years involved in Junior Achievement, I had not seen that either!

I can see they just wanted that reassurance that everything was going to be OK. They know we’re in a challenging time. In one of our recent sessions, we touched on inflation. The students were shocked at the cost of a loaf of bread!  Generally, they’re really in touch with all that’s going on, many of them overhear the conversations their family members have about things like credit cards, and they really seized the opportunity to ask questions to someone, like myself, from the bank.

After I asked for key takeaways at a recent Junior Achievement session I was leading, one student stood up and confidently said, “We need to work, like, really hard to get a job, get into politics and fix everything.” He recognized that his generation has to make an impact to see change, and he knew that the only way to do that was to have their voices heard and have a presence.

I walk out of those sessions with a whole new perspective. I deal with clients all day, but when you hear kids asking those questions and making these connections, it’s different. They see the prices, feel the financial pressures many are dealing with and recognize the sacrifices their parents are making. And fortunately, want to be a part of making things better!

Community matters to me, and the work I do with Junior Achievement is really fulfilling! I want these children to dream big and reach their potential, despite the anxiety they may be feeling about the future. I want them to know that the small steps they take in 8th grade really can set them up for the future. I want them to not be afraid, speak up, join the activities they’re passionate about, and start adding to their toolbox.

Rosette Kassar (she/her) is a Community General Manager on the Banking Centres - Midtown Toronto Market team.

CIBC is proud to support Junior Achievement and other non-profit organizations working to increase financial literacy. Employees looking to donate can give back on Benevity as part of our One for Change program, and track volunteer hours to earn CIBC Rewards to donate back to your favourite causes. #OneforChange.