Meet alumnus Steve Barnes, retiree and new JABC Volunteer.

In 1971 when he was in grade 11, Steve joined the Junior Achievement after-school program at New Westminster Secondary School. “Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, it was one of the best things I ever experienced. The skills learned about business, teamwork and philanthropy were invaluable. It cost my family nothing and the volunteers were excellent. A great base for understanding a small business and although it took me years to be able to apply the learning in my own career, I’m happy it was introduced to me at that impressionable age.”

His group manufactured and sold a product similar to Peg Solitare, a triangular peg game. This JA after-school program was held in the school wood shop, where they produced the games out of scrap wood, printed game instructions and packaged them in plastic cases. They then sold them door-to-door with the profits going to a charity in New Westminster.

Steve is now working with JA as a volunteer. For one of the recent Be Entrepreneurial programs he facilitated, he brought in his prized wooden game for his students to see. “Many times over the years I’ve thought of volunteering and this year I was able to pay it forward for other high school students.”

What advice would he give youth? “Follow your energies and passion isn’t a cliché, it’s great guidance and advice. Having said that, it wasn’t the way my career began or proceeded. It began by me taking opportunities that came my way and I think that’s pretty normal. So if you can’t start with your passion, I recommend you take good opportunities when presented and be passionate.”

Thank you Steve for giving back to JA!

Are you a former Junior Achiever?  We want to hear from you! We are collecting stories from British Columbians who feel JA positively influenced their life or career. Tell us your Story.