How do young people really feel about their financial futures?

Zurich Canada and JA Central Ontario are empowering the next generation to succeed


Zurich Canada employees are delivering several JA Canada finance and entrepreneurship programs to ensure youth thrive in a changing world – an initiative funded by the Z Zurich Foundation.

Junior Achievement (JA) Central Ontario and Zurich Canada are helping students build resilience and take control of their finances and career paths. Through a new five-year agreement, volunteers from Zurich Canada are inspiring students in grades 7-12 by delivering JA programs focused on money management, work-readiness and entrepreneurship.

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“JA Central Ontario is committed to inspiring students and preparing them to succeed in a global economy,” said Jennifer Holmes-Weier, President & CEO, JA Central Ontario. “We’re excited to work with Zurich Canada to deliver our programs and share their real-world experiences with local students — leaving a lasting impact on youth in our region. We’re grateful to the Z Zurich Foundation for supporting our students and empowering the next generation.”

Zurich employees in the Greater Toronto Area will have the opportunity to support two high school initiatives.

Working with approximately 200 Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students, Zurich employees will deliver four JA work-readiness programs over two school years. These students will take part in several programs and events that focus on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, career options and more. Students will also have the opportunity to win one of five post-secondary scholarships, powered by the Z Zurich Foundation.

In addition, the Zurich Toronto Office will support JA Central Ontario’s Company Program over four school years. This an after-school entrepreneurial experience that empowers high school students to create, develop and run their own company. With the help of Zurich’s volunteer mentors, students will design, manage and operate a business in 18 weeks.

Zurich Canada CEO Saad Mered called Zurich’s commitment to Junior Achievement a win-win.

“Organizations like JA rely on charitable donations from companies like Zurich to continue their important work. But more than that, we are supporting the desire of our community-minded employees to help educate youth about the crucially important topic of financial acumen,” he said. “Also, both the Company Program and the job-skills mentoring program will introduce hundreds of young people, and their families, to potentially life-changing opportunities in business, maybe even in insurance.”

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Creating nationwide impact with JA Canada

Zurich Canada is also engaging JA charters and Zurich employees in select communities across the country to empower as many students as possible. This wider initiative will include delivery of JA Canada’s Economics for Success program in five locations nationwide.

Over the next five years, Zurich volunteers will work with several JA charters to deliver Economics for Success, including JA Central Ontario, JA British Columbia, JA Quebec, JA Southern Alberta and JA Northern Alberta.

Economics for Success focuses on preparing students for the worlds of work and personal finance. Students gain a better understanding of life after high school and develop strategies that support independent living. Zurich employees will volunteer their time and expertise to deliver this program twice a year, online or in the classroom.


About the Z Zurich Foundation

The Z Zurich Foundation is a charitable foundation with a registered office in Zurich, Switzerland, established by Zurich Insurance Company, Ltd. and Zurich Life Insurance Company, Ltd. in accordance with Swiss law. It is the main vehicle by which the Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) delivers on its global community investment strategy.

The Z Zurich Foundation works alongside Zurich employees, businesses and NGOs in pursuit of a future where people can thrive in the face of increasing climate hazards, where those of us feeling the stresses of life are empowered to speak up, and where the marginalized in our society can reach their full potential.