Junior Achievement looking to expand programming in Sylvan Lake

Gregg Broks wants to incorporate Junior Achievemen’ts high school level Company Program in town

Junior Achievement is an international program looking to work with Sylvan Lake students to flex their entrepreneurial muscles.

Gregg Broks, chair for the Central Alberta Regional Leadership Council, Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, says he has tried to garner interest in the high school, but has had a hard time getting into the classroom to speak with students.

“Last year there was about six students who participated, but we found that just wasn’t enough to maintain the program,” Broks said, adding the students who participated ended up working through the Red Deer branch.

“We are hoping to have 15-20 students participate in the program.”

He says he has spoken with teachers at H.J. Cody

According to Broks, the high school students will participate in the Company Program segment of Junior Achievements.

Through this 18-week program, the group of students will work together and with local businesses to create their own real business and product.

“The students will get a real window into the business world, into aspects that they don’t really get to see because it is done in an office or a factory or whatever,” Broks explained.

The group of students work together to create their business, which generally is to sell something “crafty” the students can produce themselves, and the business leaders in the community work with them from brainstorming to inception.

Those who participate will even be given opportunities to sell their product at Red Deer Rebels games as well as learning how to market the product themselves.

Part of the proceeds raised by students must also go to a charity.

Part of the program, according to Broks, is a competition at the chapter level. The student-run businesses compete to find which had the better set-up and product. Winners can then move on to a national and international levels.

“In the past we had a group that sold candles that had seeds at the bottom you could plant in the garden. Part of the proceeds from that went towards a charity to protect bees,” said Broks.

The Junior Achievement mandate is to teach students entrepreneurial skills, Broks hopes for a bit more.

“I hope participating in Junior Achievement will inspire the students about the role of business in our lives. Maybe this will get them thinking about creating their own business instead of working for someone else.”

The program is expected to begin in October of 2019 and run for 18 weeks. There are no fees to participate in the program, and will be run outside of the school with the participants meeting each Wednesday at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library.

Those interested can reach out to Broks at gbroks@melcor.ca to find out more.

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