We are excited to provide a new JA offering for SHSM Business students across Central Ontario.

The Career Accelerator is a two-year experiential learning program that will provide a variety of elements for students including field trips, virtual or in-class programs, scholarships, corporate hosted events, and internship opportunities.

This opportunity is offered at no cost to students and schools thanks to the generous support of Zurich Canada and the Z Zurich Foundation.

Junior Achievement (JA) is approved by the Ministry of Education to fulfill the experiential learning and career exploration components for SHSM.

Program and events timeline:


Fall 2021
Career Success Skills


Career Success is an in-class learning experience that will equip the SHSM students with the tools and skills required to earn and keep a job in high-growth career industries. The curriculum covers the following key topics: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, career options, job hunting, personal brand and soft skills.

Spring 2022
World of Choices


A one-day event that will bring approximately 100 SHSM students together with volunteer career mentors from a variety of career paths for a day of learning, networking and skills-building activities. Students will learn about developing a personal brand and how to identify career paths, as well as participate in small group discussions with Zurich mentors where they can find out more about roles and opportunities in various fields. Mental health and wellness will also be a key component of this event.

Fall 2022
Job Shadow


A one-day event for SHSM students to spend a day at Zurich Toronto’s office. During this event, the students will hear from industry leaders and mentors from Zurich and gain insight on various career paths available at the company. They will also learn what skills and education they need to earn jobs within the industry and participate in a series of volunteer-led challenges that incorporate lessons from the real world of work. Mental health and wellness will also be a key component of this event.

Spring 2023
JA Innovation Camp


A one-day intensive workshop engaging the SHSM students who will work collaboratively in teams to generate creative business ideas to address and overcome a bespoke challenge or problem provided by Zurich. With guidance from volunteer mentors, students will create a presentation and pitch their idea to a panel of judges who will determine a winning team at the end of the day.

Spring 2023
Scholarship Award Ceremony at Zurich Canada Office

SHSM students will be hosted at the Zurich Canada office to announce the scholarship recipients and celebrate the culmination of the SHSM program. Student scholarship winners will be determined by Zurich volunteers.

Summer 2023
Internship Opportunities with Zurich Canada


Students that completed the program will have the opportunity to intern at Zurich Canada over the summer of 2023. Number of students to be defined by Zurich.


Student learning outcomes

The goal of the Career Accelerator is to empower youth by providing them with career readiness experiences, skills and knowledge that will enable their success. Throughout the program students will:

  • Strengthen their self-confidence and self-image by participating in experiential learning experiences
  • Develop key soft skills needed to be successful in the Canadian workforce including critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity skills
  • Connect with mentors to explore post-secondary options and learn what life is like after high school
  • Gain insight into the world of business by job shadowing business professionals
  • Be empowered to make informed plans for their future
  • Learn how to network, and create a strong personal brand
  • Foster innovation, build resiliency and overcome challenges through a business competition
  • Demonstrate the importance of mental health

Student requirements

We are looking for a group of 100 dedicated SHSM Business students across Central Ontario to participate in this exciting new two-year program. It is essential to the program’s success that we have full commitment from students to participate in all events outlined in the timeline.

  • Full two-year commitment with the same SHSM Business students participating over the course of the program.
  • Students should be in grades 10-11 when starting the program in Fall 2021
  • Students will need to complete student evaluations during the course of the program to assess student learnings and growth
  • Students will need to complete a media and communication waiver to participate (students can choose to opt out of media opportunities).


Application process

  • June – teachers to express interest in the program to JA
  • September – JA to reach out to teachers with application form
  • September - Teachers to complete application form including number of students they wish to have participate, among other student details
  • October - JA to review and select students for the program and contact schools that are successful in their application
  • November – Career Accelerator commences

Click here to register student interest in the Career Accelerator