Jade Oliver: A JA Story

Jade Oliver has been involved with Junior Achievement for three years, and she has every intention of continuing with the Company Program in Grade 12. In 2013, her first year with JA, Jade achievements were recognized with the Rookie Award as well as the Social Entrepreneurship Award. Jade demonstrated a keen awareness of social entrepreneurship by making sure that company members volunteered for multiple causes such as a food drive and a breast cancer walk. In 2014, she was delighted to receive the VP Marketing Award because she had worked so hard to find innovative ways to pitch her company’s product.

Jade first heard of JA in Grade 9, when her math teacher at F.R. Haythorne took the class to the World Trade Centre for a financial literacy course. Curious, she signed up for the Company Program in 2013, little knowing what a huge impact JA would have in her life. Over the course of her involvement with JA, Jade has come to realize the value of social entrepreneurship and the importance of running a socially conscious and environmentally aware business. She has also learned to push her boundaries to overcome her initial nervousness, and, as a result, she has become much more self-confident when meeting new people. She also knows from firsthand experience that, for a company to be successful, teamwork is far more important than personal gain.

In 2014, her company, Metafleur, decided to make ecofriendly seed bombs. By a process of trial and error, students mastered the art of papier-mâché, the first step in making the wildflower seed bombs. Sometimes the wildflower seeds began to germinate prematurely, so team members dealt with this challenge by placing the seeds on the outside of the papier-mâché bombs; this strategy allowed them to monitor the situation more closely.

Jade finds that her goals change depending on which role she takes on, but she finds she easily adapts to the demands of each job. In her first year, as assistant to both the VP of Human Resources and the VP of Marketing, she gained insights into what each job entailed. In 2014, as VP of Marketing, her goals were to generate high sales as well as a high share value. She persuaded company members to choose the ecofriendly seed bombs as their product by doing preliminary research showing that the product would be well received. Then she did a market analysis to find out which features would appeal to the different demographic segments. She discovered that families with children would see the product as a fun introduction to gardening, while seniors would appreciate the product as a mess-free, time-friendly way to introduce floral accents to their gardens. In 2015, as VP of Human Resources she poured her energy into achieving her goals of creating a positive environment and promoting friendly relations among members. She was successful, and her company had perfect attendance as well as a retention rate of 100 per cent.

In addition to schoolwork and involvement with JA, Jade has participated in the Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program, run by Strathcona County. Jade also volunteers with the “Wow is Now” program organized by CapitalCare in Sherwood Park, and she visits patients with Alzheimer’s disease once a week. Jade is also making a name for herself as an excellent babysitter; her network has expanded, and families are clamoring for her babysitting services.

After graduating from high school in 2016, Jade would like to enroll in a Bachelor of Commerce program. She thinks that work in the retail and franchising industry — possibly clothing — lies in her future. With four years of JA experience, she will definitely have a huge advantage in her chosen field.