Alberta's students are getting a top notch education already, but Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta (JASA) wants to take it one step further, in a fun, relatable and customizable way.

They had the chance to sit before the Rocky View School Board Trustees on Thursday, February 2, to present information about the program.

"Our mission is to inspire and educate young Albertans to succeed in the global economy by providing them with opportunities to experience free enterprise, develop an entrepreneurial attitude, and really develop their financial literacy and leadership skills," claimed Karen Vavrek, director if Regional Development for JASA. Vavrek was joined in the presentation by Kim Williams-Lowe, regional coordinator for the Bow West region.

Vavrek pointed out that one out of every five Grade 10 students will not complete Grade 12 within five years. As well, 60% of graduates will not go on to post secondary education within the next three years, and the average Canadian debt is roughly $25,000 according to TransUnion. Putting that all together, there's a need to create more financially savvy members of the community while they're in the school setting.

JA programs across Canada created Alumni who were able to save more, borrow less and went bankrupt less often than the average Canadian. They're 50% more likely to open their own business, 25% less likely to be unemployed, and three times less like to spend less than they earned.

Trustee Colleen Munro pointed out that the program falls in line with the '21st century learning' Rocky View Schools strives for.

"I'd like to say that I'm a huge fan of what you're doing for our students," said Munro. "The skills you're giving our kids are very complementary"

One of the problems Junior Achievement is currently facing is getting volunteers to help out with the program.

"You have to be a little gutsy," explained Williams-Lowe on trying to get people to sign up to help out. "It's a full time job trying to get volunteers and maintaining that volunteer base."

She said that the people who have gotten involved have seen the value of the program, from the inside.

"If I had this 14 years ago, I would have made so many less mistakes in my own business."

They also touched on getting in front of Alberta Education to show the model that they have fits well within the model already in place in schools.

If you want more information, or would like to help out no matter your career discipline, check out their website at