What is the time commitment to volunteer for JA?
That’s up to you! Time commitments vary depending on the program you choose. Mentoring youth during the school day is typically 1-4 hours. Our after-school Company Program is 3 hours, once a week, for 16 weeks. Learn more about our programs and their time commitments here.
How often am I expected to volunteer?
We appreciate any time you can provide to help empower and inspire young people. You can volunteer once, or come back again and again. We want your JA experience to be worthwhile, fun and convenient, so we let you choose the days and times you give back to your community.
How much preparation time is required?
There is very little preparation for JA World of Choices career mentors. You simply show up at the event, tell students about your own industry and career path and answer their questions! Props are always popular too.
JA’s programs to classrooms of Grades 3-12 students require 2 hours of training that we will provide you with. You’ll want to practice and review the activities on your own for at least 1 hour a well. It is important that JA volunteers appear confident and prepared in front of students. Good mentors give clear instructions, manage time, and know how to link one activity to the next – and that’s easy to do with a little preparation and planning!
What support will I receive?
Each volunteer works with a JA Program staff member who will recommend an opportunity for mentorship that best matches your interests, skill set and availability. JA will also give you all the materials you’ll need for a truly impactful, rewarding and fun session with students. Our team is here to support you, answer all your questions and give specific information about the particular JA programs you sign up. All JA program deliveries involve at least two volunteers, so don’t worry, you won’t be going it alone.
I don’t know which program I would be best suited for.
Our JA Program Team can give you more information about the specific content of each program and help figure out the best fit for you.
Please contact us.
Can I volunteer with a friend or colleague?
Yes! Volunteers are encouraged to register with friends or colleagues! All our classroom programs can be led in teams of two, either in-person or virtually. Company Program volunteers work as part of a 3-4 person team. World of Choices career mentors can be in even larger groups as long as you all have different jobs in your chosen careers.
What qualifications do I need?
We are looking for people from the real world of work. JA volunteers have experience working in any business environment or occupation and they enjoy preparing young people through our fun, interactive program. If you’re not sure of your comfort level, invite a friend to teach the class with you! Have them register and let us know you want to be placed with them.
Do I have to work in banking or finance to be a volunteer?
Most JA programs can be led by volunteers with general life experience and some sort of business experience. Our volunteers come from many different sectors from insurance to tourism, retail to construction, trades people to I-T, just to name a few. JA mentors are experienced executives or those just starting their careers… and don’t forget retirees. We have a wide range of volunteers!
Can university and college students volunteer?
Yes, we encourage post-secondary students to participate. JA students love learning from younger mentors too. Being a JA volunteer is also a great way to gain valuable leadership skills, practice public speaking and time management yourself.
Do you provide the lesson plans and materials?
Yes, JA provides all the materials you will need to deliver the lessons. During your training session you will receive your own Program Guide for Teachers and Volunteers. This is your guide to follow and make your own helpful notes in. On the day of the program JA provides kits for students that includes things name cards, student workbooks and certificates for completing the activity.
How many students are in a class?
Class sizes vary depending on the school and grade. Usually there are anywhere from 15 – 38 students in a JA program. Our World of Choices career events may involve several hundred, but you only speak to youth in small groups of 8-24 at one time.
Will I be alone with the students?
No, a teacher is required to be in the classroom at all times to assist with class management. You’ll also have at least one JA employee or volunteer helping too!
Do you offer JA in my child’s school?
We offer JA programs to all schools in Northern Alberta and Northwest Territories. A parent’s voice is a fantastic way to help JA get our programs into your child’s school. If you’d like to know if a particular school is signed up for JA, we invite you to ask the principal, a teacher, or contact a member of our program team.
Are JA programs free?
Yes! All our programs are free of charge to schools and students. As a not-for-profit organization, JA receives donations primarily from community-minded corporations and individuals.
How can I donate to give JA to more young Albertans?
Any amount helps us grow our student reach. To make an impact and inspire future entrepreneurs, please donate today!