Our Impact

Inspiring and empowering young people

JA Central Ontario and Desjardins are working together to support young people in a changing world

Young people working on a computer

Desjardins and JA Central Ontario empower young people as they begin to shape their futures.

Young people across Canada are anxious about what their future will hold. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with uncertainty on the horizon, youth are struggling to envision a world in which they can thrive.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on young people, and they continue to express concerns about their future. According to a recent survey of 4,200 Canadian youth by Desjardins and Academos, 60% of young people say they're anxious about choosing a career.

JA Central Ontario is committed to empowering young people with the skills to visualize and build a future that works for them. In a new partnership with cooperative financial group Desjardins, we are bringing our unique learning experiences to more students across our region, to build optimism, hope and confidence for the next generation. This generous funding is provided as part of Desjardins’ commitment to young people across Canada, and JA Central Ontario joins over 3,000 youth-focused initiatives the organization is supporting.

"We need to be direct about just how big the challenges are for future generations and act accordingly,” said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. “Desjardins wants to support youth through initiatives that encourage them to dive into something, exceed their own expectations, take on new challenges and above all, believe that anything is possible."

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Desjardins to empower young people across Central Ontario,” says Jennifer Holmes Weier, President and CEO at JA Central Ontario. “At JA, we believe in the boundless potential of young people to positively shape the world we live in. Through this partnership, we will inspire and prepare students to develop the skills, build the confidence and create the connections needed to thrive.”

In partnership with Desjardins, JA Central Ontario will provide a range of learning experiences for students in grades 5 to 12. These experiences will bring entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness to life for young people.

Together, we will empower students with the skillset and mindset to succeed: from entrepreneurship and leadership to money management and career planning.

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.

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in North America and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $397 billion. It was named one of the 2021 Canada's Top 100 Employers by MediaCorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world's strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has some of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.