Sarbjit Gill, Economics for Success and JA Company Program Volunteer and former Achiever, Kamloops
Q: Tell us about yourself
A: I was born in Dhudike, Punjab (India) and currently reside in Kamloops, BC where I am finishing second year of the Bachelor of Tourism Management Program. I’m also an aspiring entrepreneur. I have been a volunteer with Students in Free Enterprise – Thompson Rivers (SIFE TRU) for two years and a volunteer with Junior Achievement of British Columbia for over a year.
Q: How did you first get involved with Junior Achievement?
A: I am a former student Achiever and participated in a JA Company Program in Burnaby, BC. Our company name was “Go Green” and we were mentored by volunteers from Accenture. The invaluable experience motivated me to find a similar organization in university (SIFE TRU – a student run not-for-profit organization taking initiatives to raise the quality of life and standard of living in our community with our programs) to explore my potential. Being involved with SIFE gave me a chance to volunteer for JA’s Economics for Success program when it was hosted at the university in February, 2011. Since then I have become a volunteer for JA Company Program.
Q: How important do you think having a JA volunteer in the classroom is to the program?
A: I believe one learns best from the others’ experiences and stories. Books are a great resource but real life experiences bring words/lessons to life and students tend to retain more information from these.
Q: What impact do you think JA has on young people?
A: I’m a prime example of how a JA program can transform an individual and inspire them to become pro-active, serve their community, put their learned skills to action and become a true leader. If it wasn’t for the JA Company Program, I would still be that shy introvert who wanted to achieve but always needed a push. Today, having volunteered for five Company Programs and two Economics for Success programs, I can say JA certainly has made an exceptional impact on several young lives.
Q: Can you share a special moment you have had while volunteering for JA?
A: I have had several special moments while volunteering for JA. You form a bond with these students along the way and as you see them progress and grow, it makes the entire experience worthwhile.
Q: What advice would you give a new JA volunteer prior to delivering a program?
A: I would quote Gemma Gowling, JABC Regional Manager (Kamloops) on this, “Any knowledge you pass onto the students is valuable and they will definitely know more now than what they did before walking into the classroom”. So don’t be nervous, come prepared and have some fun with the students.
TRIVIA: Sarbjit’s Company Program “Go Green” won the coveted CIBC Company of the Year Award in 2009.