When Kevin Lee signed up to be a volunteer advisor for Junior Achievement’s Company Program, he expected to pass on his business knowledge to a group of high school students.
What he didn’t expect was to collaborate with a group of students who went above and beyond – representing Junior Achievement and Enbridge Gas Distribution with dedication and pride.
The Junior Achievement Company Program aims to motivate youth from Grades 10 through 12 to create their own business. Over a period of 18 weeks, students collaborate with experienced volunteers, explore the world of entrepreneurship, and learn the risks and rewards of starting their own business.
Lee and seven other Enbridge Gas Distribution employees worked with a group of 30 students to create Lumière – a soy-based candle making company. Lumière lived up to its mission statement – to light up the future – and it also supported Enbridge’s commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship. The students even donated a portion of the profits from their sales to the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and the energy4everyone Foundation.
Throughout his journey, Lee notes that seeing his students putting in additional time outside of their weekly sessions inspired him to do the same.
“Volunteering provides me with a deep sense of fulfilment, to know that I’ve positively impacted someone’s life,” says Lee, a project management advisor with the operations arm of Enbridge Gas, who's based in the Greater Toronto Area. “What some may not realize is that being a program advisor is strictly voluntary, and we don’t give up our time to benefit our resumes and careers. Being an advisor is just a title, and respect from the students should be earned.”
Lumière was shortlisted in 12 out of a possible 19 award categories, and won website-of-the-year honors, at the Junior Achievement of Central Ontario’s recent Company Program awards ceremony, while Lee won the prestigious advisor of the year award. “I consider the recognition to be the biggest achievement in both my personal and professional life to date,” he says.
Enbridge supports Junior Achievement – an international non-profit organization that works locally with businesses to teach students about financial literacy and entrepreneurship – in southern Ontario, Edmonton, Calgary, Houston, and other communities near our projects and operations.
Enbridge and our volunteer employees support JA’s Company Program, regional career opportunity events such as JA Inspire, and in-school programming that teaches students about money-management skills.