Thursday April 24, 2014





Stay in school is no clich, Kamloops, Merritt students hear

Junior Achievement

By the time children reach Grade 3 they've heard their role models repeat the same mantra 100 times — "stay in school."

But how many times have role models actually connected the dots to explain why staying in school is so important?

On Thursday, the Junior Achievement of British Columbia program Economics for Success comes to Thompson Rivers University to connect those dots for more than 500 elementary and secondary students from the Kamloops-Thompson and Merritt school districts.

"Junior Achievement programs like Economics for Success help train and inspire new generations of entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders," said Jan Bell-Irving, president of Junior Achievement of British Columbia.

The one-day program helps students explore job and career choices by outlining the link between education and personal goals, and by providing kids with the knowledge, attitudes and skills they'll need for long-term success.

Through activities and discussions, a volunteer team of two business professionals facilitates the program in each class, sharing their own career and business experiences.

"What these 500 students learn today from local volunteers will help support the future of business in communities throughout the Kamloops region," said Bell-Irving.

Among those local volunteers is Jo Berry, founder of the extremely popular Daily News Boogie. Berry delivers her animated motivational speech as the event's keynote speaker.

The former social worker and youth counsellor has plenty of experience inspiring kids — and vice versa.

"I love kids. They inspire me so much and love to jump together and have a ton of fun," she said.

Berry's talk centres around a personal core value of hers: jumping out of the comfort zone. She said she was a shy kid and failed a university class on speech gave her the incentive she needed.

"It inspired me to teach and train myself how to live — little steps at a time — out of my comfort zone," she said. "Kicking fear doors down, one at a time to become braver and live a bigger, more purposeful life."

Now she looks forward to presenting her technique to a group of more than 500.

Participating Kamloops schools include NorKam Secondary, Sa-Hali Secondary, Chase Secondary, Merrit Secondary, St. Ann's Academy and Kamloops Christian School.

All Junior Achievement programs are delivered at no cost to participating schools and students.

Learning materials for the program will be provided at no cost to the Grade 9 and 10 students thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Kamloops Daybreak.

Further donations from a variety of community organizations will provide students with Little Caesars pizza for lunch.


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