Fri | Jan 28, 2022

Life Changing Experiences for Junior Achievers in Canada

Published:Monday | August 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
From left: Trudy Ann Campbell of Charlemont High; Akena Davis from Rusea’s High; Tamali Smith from Ardenne High; Kingsley Morgan (centre); Patrice Coleman from Wolmer’s Girls’ and Zavion Edwards from St Jago, following their return to the island from the Junior Achievement’s Next Generation Leaders Forum in Canada.

Each year, future leaders from across the globe connect with Canada's foremost business leaders and the best business-school faculty during a unique experience at Junior Achievement's (JA) Next-generation Leaders Forum (NGL).

Earlier this month, Junior Achievement of Canada welcomed more than 150 students from around the world, including Jamaica, for a week of professional development, where they learnt about personal leadership skills, tested their creativity and addressed real-world economic challenges.

The Jamaican contingent included five students from schools across the island, namely: Akena Davis - Rusea's High, Tamali Smith - Ardenne High, Patrice Coleman - Wolmer's Girls', Trudy Ann Campbell - Charlemont High, Zavion Edwards - St Jago, and their chaperone, Yanique Taylor.

For more than 40 years, NGL has been providing students with the confidence as well as the belief needed to be successful in business and in life. More than 3,000 top achievers have participated in NGL and have gone on to become recognised business and community leaders around the world.


fun and business


Trudy Ann Campbell was selected as Employee of the Year from the Bijshango Enterprise, operated by her team at Charlemont High. She was also selected to represent Jamaica and describes her experience as an exceptional one.

"It was a mixture of fun and business. It didn't feel like work to me. Most of the activities were done as a team, so it was much easier," Campbell said.

President of La'Bor Enterprises, Akena Davis, of Rusea's High, was fascinated with the presentations which encouraged them to find their passion and work towards it.

"There were some really good presenters, especially those that encouraged us to be confident and maintain our integrity. I also like the branding and networking workshops," she said.

Her group made a line of products from breadfruit, including punch, muffins, casseroles and chips.

Junior Achievement provides programming for the world's next generation of business leaders. In its 44-year history, NGL has been a fantastic forum for business-minded youth to network at an international level, learn from experienced executives and professors, and hone their business acumen.

Before her trip to Canada, Tamali Smith wanted to become an entrepreneur. As president, her group, Stycolastic, created key rings, jewellery and decorative figurines from styrofoam turned into plastic. After her visit, she is even more confident that there are opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, Zavion Edwards, president of Selling Innovations through Various Avenues (SIVA), said it was a life-changing experience for him.

"I was not business-minded, but the experience changed my perspective on how to create wealth with the emphasis placed not solely on profit, but a sense of obligation," Edwards said.

Sudents will return to their schools and communities with a new perspective on what is possible.