March 6, 2020- Students in the Columbia Basin can learn about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship through JA British Columbia (JABC). Columbia Basin Trust is providing JABC with $460,500 over three years to provide support to students throughout the region.

“We’ve seen an increased demand by Basin schools for JABC programs, with more and more teachers inviting them into their classrooms,” said Michelle d’Entremont, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “We’re proud to help ensure this valuable resource is readily available so local youth can gain knowledge and become engaged in ways that might impact their personal and professional lives.”

JABC programs are delivered free of charge to schools by volunteer business people to students in grades four to 12. Ranging in length from four hours to weekly sessions held over 16 weeks, and aligning with the new provincial curriculum, the programs focus on topics like managing money, exploring careers, investing in the stock market and operating a business.

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Columbia Basin Trust,” said Sheila Biggers, President and Chief Executive Officer, JABC. “Thanks to their generous support over the years, JABC has been able to expand operations in the Columbia Basin and significantly increase the number of students who have access to JA programs, helping them become more optimistic about their potential, financially literate and better prepared to chart their future.”

Wildflower School in Nelson is one of the schools that has taken advantage of JABC programs.

“As an extension to the More than Money unit, I had the students hand in their business plans and then actually create their businesses,” said teacher Kirsten Johnson. “They built a business out of cardboard (if there was an actual storefront), made advertising, figured out their start-up costs and then for a day we ran our businesses, tracking all expenses and purchases on the money tracker sheets. They loved the experience and it was one they won’t forget!”

Kaya, one of the Wildflower students who participated, said, “More than Money was so fun and it was sometimes hard to keep track of the money and all the change. I learned that it is sometimes hard to run a business and I also learned about money and money math.”

The Trust’s support will also add another element to JABC’s offerings in the Basin: it will be launching a $2,500 award. This will be given to a local student who has participated in JABC high school programs, to be used for further education. Details will be coming soon. Learn more about the partnership at

If you’re a teacher interested in hosting a free, volunteer-led program, contact Alanna Tynan, Program Manager, at 1.250.580.0802 or Also contact Tynan if you’re a Basin business person interested in volunteering to teach a program.