Alison Bachand-Lapointe: A JA Story.

Alison Bachand-Lapointe is a highly focused and goal-oriented student. In 2015, she was a deserving recipient of the Allan D. Hardy Memorial Scholarship presented to a student enrolled in the School of Business at MacEwan University who has demonstrated creativity and innovation in the Junior Achievement Company Program. In 2014, Alison received awards for Achiever of the Year, VP Finance, Company of the Year — both local and Canadian — Social Entrepreneurship, and the CANJAC Award. In 2013, she received the VP Production Award as well as the local Company of the Year Award. An impressive list of accomplishments!

Alison first heard of Junior Achievement in 2013, when she was in Grade 10 at Archbishop Oscar Romero High School and a JA company representative gave a presentation to her Social Studies class. This talk came at a crucial moment for Alison because she was trying to decide what path she wanted to take. The Company Program appealed to her, so she signed up, and right away she knew she had found her direction. In her first year, she took on the role of VP Production and convinced somewhat dubious team members to undertake a sewing project — ecofriendly car garbage bags. After a little hesitation, team members came together and produced 247 bags in all!

In 2014, Alison was VP Finance of “Twisted Paws,” a company that made durable and colourful pet toys. Alison went above and beyond what was necessary by supporting other members and helping out with the production process. Everything she did was with the team’s ultimate goal in mind: to be the company of the year. All that dedication paid off, and, in the end, the team won both local and national company of the year awards. Alison and two other team members travelled to Ecuador for the three-day international competition and then stayed an extra couple of days to enjoy some sightseeing.

In 2015, Alison’s company, “Four Corners,” made ecofriendly multipurpose frames. Members obtained frames from the Edmonton Reuse Centre or bought ecofriendly wood frames and then upcycled and customized them. When preordering their frames, customers could choose which colour of paint they wanted, and they could specify one of four designs — floral accents, puzzle pieces, a mosaic of CD fragments, or a collage of newspaper, comics or maps. As president, Allison’s biggest challenge was to resolve conflicts in a timely manner and make sure that all members worked harmoniously together. And she succeeded! At first, the company was only turning out ten frames a week, but, towards the end, under Alison’s leadership, members worked as a cohesive unit to produce 50 frames a week.

Alison is very thankful that she found out about Junior Achievement. She says that the Company Program allowed her to meet new friends, develop valuable business skills, and to discover the value of teamwork. Above all, the JA program allowed her to go on a rewarding voyage of self-discovery. Alison actively promotes Junior Achievement, and in her Grade 12 year, she made persuasive presentations about the company to as many Social Studies classes as possible.