It’s JA day on Pink Monday! How could it not be? I’m back home after two days of incredible events hosted by Junior Achievement of British Columbia. It took nearly every live body at our organization to pull this off! I was the manager of registration (aka The Pentagon).
It’s our biggest annual student event – The JA Innovation Jam (formerly the BC Business Challenge). Students from all over BC came to Vancouver to compete for the best business pitch with an environmental innovation theme. Last night we had a reception for all the out-of-town kids who were staying at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. Many of them had never been to Vancouver before. Some of them from remote communities had never flown on a plane before! What an amazing opportunity for these kids to come downtown and be part of what turned out to be two pretty amazing days.
Sam Thiara was our guest speaker at the reception and he was truly so inspirational that he was surrounded by a mob of kids after the event. Like a rock-star, they all wanted photos with Sam.
A highlight for me was a group of three teen girls who fearlessly approached me, hands extended, formally and confidently introduced themselves and told me about their school and their team and asked me what I do at JA. Networking is a big part of what we’re encouraging them to do at events like these. If you’re like me, you know it takes guts to go up to strangers at networking events and start conversations. These girls are already pros at it. I was so impressed!
My alarm went off at 5:00 am today as the event began for me just before 7 – getting ready for 123 students to mob my registration desk at 7:30 am. It’s been a long day but I have that wonderful feeling you get after a well-run event – pride mixed with relief that it’s all done!!!
During the day the students were led through workshops, a lightening round of presentations, breakout groups and filming of their pitch. They were judged by panels of JA sponsors and a dozen members of the Top Forty Under 40. The top four teams were chosen and presented to the group. Tomorrow morning there will be links on Youtube where everyone (even you!) can vote for the best pitch for a kind of “people’s choice” award. I love that the theme was environmental innovation and they came up with some incredible original ideas! I’ll all a link to this post tomorrow.
So, I’m tired, I’m happy, I’m behind on my database entries back at the office. Tomorrow will be filled with unpacking and catching up on all that was neglected in the last day or two before the event. Like processing some of our most recent donations! Speaking of which – if you like the idea of preparing youth for the world of work through business education and financial literacy, you might like to support Junior Achievement.
Happy Pink Monday!