Annual Report


Stakeholders' Message

A Message From Melissa From, President & CEO

Empower The Future

JA works to create a positive impact on the economy and the future of Alberta. We are successfully bridging the gap between education and the business world, equipping youth with the skills and confidence they need for personal success, enhancing their workforce readiness, and motivating them to pursue their dreams.

Melissa From Headshot - president and ceo junior achievement southern alberta

To enlarge the video, click the YouTube link in the video or click here

My first year as President and CEO at JA Southern Alberta was one with many changes. We rolled out new versions of Economics for Success, Dollars with Sense, and Our Business World. We made small changes and improvements to Company Program. We offered national and international business experience to our students, made possible by generous supporters. We created new partnerships in the communities we serve. We saw significant staffing changes at the senior level and in our national office. We all felt the burden of a tumultuous economy.

One thing that didn’t change was the steadfast commitment of our community partners and volunteers. This year, we delivered over 1,100 programs to nearly 30,000 students in 105 communities in southern Alberta with the assistance of 1,800 volunteers. You helped to inspire and prepare young people to reach their full potential. Thank You!!

With your ongoing support, we will continue to provide relevant business education for our youth, preparing them to become the business leaders of tomorrow.  We will continue to empower the future of our youth and our communities by turning “I can’t” into “I can”.  I invite you to watch the JA video and be inspired!

On behalf of JA Southern Alberta’s Board of Directors, staff and the close to 30,000 youth we served across southern Alberta this year, thank you for helping us empower the future of our youth and economy.  Your commitment, support and passion has made all the difference!

Melissa From | President & CEO, JA Southern Alberta


Our Impact

With Your Help We Achieved These Goals







"The volunteers in my class were both truly positive and I love how inspiring they both are. I will continue in school and try my best to build success in my life. Thank you so much for putting your time into teaching me and my classmates so much about school and life." ~EFS Student
Our Program Reach
With donor and volunteer support, we have been able to start meeting the demand for our existing programs and broaden the scope of our reach to vulnerable youth as well as Indigenous and rural student groups. Youth who would not normally obtain, but arguably will benefit the most from JA programs.

Total Programs Delivered

Vulnerable Youth

Programs Delivered In Treaty 7 Nations

Rural Impact

"I love it when I can help the students through the activities, engaging in conversation and discussion. I really like when they ask us questions, it means they are engaged and want to learn. It makes me feel really good about what I am doing and that I am making a difference. Thanks for the opportunity!" ~ Volunteer, JA Southern Alberta
Imperial oil volunteers
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Achievers In Action

Thanks to the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA), JA Southern Alberta was able to send two students on a trip to Sweden this year to learn about JA Sweden and Company Program. Here is Arnav and Sebastien’s story:

The national championship was held in StockholmsMässan, an international and Congress fairs venue. There were 200 teams from across Sweden that competed for awards and scholarships. The conference was held for two days and we knew that it wasn’t enough time to cover every business at the competition. Quite frankly, we wanted it to last longer because it was marvelous talking to students with profound mindsets while sharing an interest in business. There were eight main categories of enterprises; House, Fashion & Design, Food & Drinks, Beauty & Body, Sports & Leisure, Technology, Culture & Education and International Companies. It was wonderful to see student businesses in a variety of fields, and with that thought, we had completely indulged ourselves into the conference.

During the event, we enjoyed talking with the JA Sweden staff and students and while analyzing the most innovative products and services, we noticed that the top performing companies were not eager to drive monetary benefit. Instead, they focused on enhancing people’s lives through solving daily problems with their unique products and services. Furthermore, some student enterprises strived to assist local businesses in expanding their markets and boosting sales. In addition to above, these are just a few benefits that the student-led companies aimed to achieve.

The Swedes had taken a vast interest in technology. Within the Technology section, there were companies that produced fantastic services that included; finding jobs for youth within minutes, creating stunning marketing videos for local businesses, designing gun skins for video games are few to mention. As an innovative idea, some JA companies created websites, apps or managed social media for other student enterprises in return for free advertising.

The national championship was well organized and we had the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony and the gala dinner. Before the opening ceremony, the students had come together and gathered in their respective regional groups. They were extremely loud, excited and were cheering on their regions with banners, horns and drums. Moreover, the gala dinner was a thrilling event that included a star performer, company of the year presentations and fantastic hosts.

Last but not least, all the Canadians were dazzled by the company booths because they were extremely well decorated. Hats off to the Swedish students!

We are glad to have met JA Sweden’s staff and students as they were extremely friendly and welcomed us with open arms.


Financial Statements

JA Southern Alberta is a 100% donor and volunteer driven charity. Thanks to the continued and generous support of our corporate, foundation, individual, and government donors, we received just over 2 million dollars to support JA programming in the 2016-2017 school year. Contributions helped us provide relevant practical business education to nearly 30,000 students in the 105 communities we serve in southern Alberta. To see a full list of our donors, visit our donor page

In 2012 we set a five year goal of establishing a healthy reserve fund. We are proud to report that we have realized this milestone. Together, we have created a strong financial foundation for the JA Southern Alberta charity itself while balancing the budget each year. The economic downturn in Alberta has touched us all and we are grateful to our generous and committed donors for providing us with the sustainability to persevere through these tough times. Now, more than ever, we know the value and necessity of JA programs – teaching youth financial literacy, work readiness, and business acumen. THANK YOU.

Statement of Financial Position

Statement of Financial Position

Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents342,046437,474
Short-term investments910,000860,000
Accounts receivable124,31990,454
Supplies Inventory16,81816,076
Deposits and prepaid expenses20,75322,250
Capital assets25,19238,582
Current liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities88,890192,457
Deferred revenue156,000145,000
Deferred contributions243,378249,130
Internally restricted - net assets invested in capital assets10,88417,120
Internally restricted460,000460,000

Statement of Revenue and Expenses

Statement of Revenue and Expenses

Fund development1,284,4651,449,485
Event revenue408,500528,600
Government funding220,001128,939
Investment income9,5343,296
Program direct1,038,0011,033,060
General, administrative and marketing376,466391,914
Fund development239,337378,251
Excess of revenue over expenses79,76534,297

JA Southern Alberta

JA Southern Alberta is a member of JA Canada and part of JA Worldwide, one one of the world’s largest youth-serving non-governmental organizations dedicated to educating young people about business. We strive to inspire and prepare youth to succeed in a global economy. With over 120 member organizations worldwide, JA brings a global view of business to local communities. We partner with educators, donors and volunteers to bring a real world experience into the classroom. Our programs focus on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, giving students the skills and confidence they need to become leaders of tomorrow.

What We Do

Through the delivery of cutting-edge, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, JA creates pathways for employability and job creation. Participating in JA programs transforms youth and gives them the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in school, business and life. Studies have shown that today’s most in-demand jobs didn’t exist ten years ago. JA prepares students to succeed in tomorrow’s careers, solve tomorrow’s challenges, and launch businesses that create tomorrow’s jobs.For more information on how to connect with JA Southern Alberta, visit our website at

High school students prepare to begin Company Program, an 18 week after-school business program.

River Valley School used the Our Business World to teach elementary students the power of the entrepreneurial spirit.

Volunteers and 3,600 grade 9 students had fun with the Economics for Success program hosted by SAIT.

Two young JA Alumni speak with Linda Olsen from Global Calgary at the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.