For Angela Armstrong, moving to Winnipeg in grade 11 meant entering a new high school where she was unfamiliar with the city and people. Hearing about the Junior Achievement program piqued her interest. She recognized that it would be a great way to make new friends and get to know the city. By her second year in the program, she was president of her student business group and had lots of great friends.
As a result of her leadership and her team’s hard work, Angela was named President of the Year during her grade 12 year. She then went on to receive a nomination to the Junior Achievement national conference in Ontario, had an opportunity to come to a conference in Edmonton, was a keynote speaker at an inductee lunch for the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, and was profiled in a feature article in MacLean’s magazine. After graduating from high school, she maintained her connection to the program by working in the Winnipeg office as a summer student and also volunteered during university as a liaison between advisors and Junior Achievement before going on to become a mentor herself.
Even throughout university, Angela always imagined herself entering law. It was, however, her participation in Junior Achievement and the numerous opportunities it offered her that focused her energy into business. She was constantly inspired by the passionate mentorship she received. Her first mentors, Nick Laping and Jo Magnifico, among others, are still invested in her success and always willing to help her in any way possible. Through the robust network she developed in Junior Achievement, Angela was recruited into her first career position, which would ultimately lead her to Edmonton in the role of branch manager by the age of 25. Currently, Angela spends her days as the president of Prime Capital Group.
The Junior Achievement program pushed Angela to think differently and identify areas to work on and ways to improve herself. By identifying shortcomings in a safe environment, she was able to try new approaches to problems that she would otherwise have been unable to try. Discovering that successful businesses require leadership to be a collaborative process involving dedicated teamwork is one of the greatest takeaways that Angela attributes to her time with Junior Achievement. It was a different approach to leadership that she had not considered before.
In addition to the dedicated and passionate mentors, Angela believes that a major strength of the Junior Achievement program is the innovative and holistic approach it takes to business. With the future in mind, Angela hopes the program stays current by focusing on recognizing and developing different work styles. With young generations experiencing evolving primary and secondary educational programs based on alternative learning styles, she hopes the program continues to evolve to accommodate this variability.