Tag Archives: Junior Chamber International

Relocating around the world with help from JCI

By Jennifer Donovan-Faubert (photo by Jeroen Komen)

Moving can be a highly stressful thing to do. I’m not just talking about packing up your boxes and moving a few blocks away – even though the process of packing and transporting your items has its own stressors. I mean a bigger move – a “starting fresh” move to a different town, city, province, or country.
I have moved 14 times over four provinces. Five times as a kid (Dad was in the RCMP) and then nine more as an adult.
Whether the move is to get into a great program at a different school; find new job opportunities in the line of work you want to pursue or have been trained in; bridge the distance between you and your love to make the relationship work; or you just need a fresh start – whatever the reason, you go through the same process about a month after landing in your new place of residence. It can happen sooner for some, or if you have moved for love, it may happen later – but nevertheless, you get an overwhelming feeling of “What the heck am I doing here?”
This feeling, a strange combination of buyer’s remorse and being a fish out of water, can come on suddenly – I once had a breakdown because I couldn’t find decent pizza in my new area – or it starts off as a nagging feeling and fully develops once you have placed everything around your new abode and you start to dwell on the massive change that has just occurred.
Forget the fact that you have to learn all the new noises that happen at night before you fall asleep, or that your bathroom may be in a different area, so when you get up in the middle of the night, you walk into a wall the first time.
But the main thing you need to overcome is the “missing” feeling – I miss my friends/family, I miss my job/school, I miss my house/neighbourhood, I miss my coffee shop/daily routine. Having to establish “a life” again is a huge undertaking. Developing a business network, finding people to do things with, creating friendships again… these always seem to be the hardest. Connecting with new people is even tougher when you’re creating that connection out of thin air.
Finding like-minded people is the key; JCI can be, and has been, a great source for me. I have found friendships that have lasted, clients to work for, and people to grow a business with. There are always events to attend – a good reason to get out of your new house!
And the fact that JCI is international meant there was always a chapter in any of the new centres I moved to. Between the casual mixers, the courses and seminars, and the volunteering aspects – I had a great way to meet new people, develop a couple of new skills, and finally… to feel at home again.
You too can get involved. Join us at a JCI Winnipeg’s Month End Mixer to share your vision of a better community, engage JCI members toward betterment, and discover the avenues of potential and impact that exist within JCI Winnipeg. Visit jciwinnipeg.blogspot.ca for more information.

One hundred years of professional development

By Simon Methot

The JCI movement started on Oct.13, 1915 with one active citizen who had a passion for positive change. Since then, millions of young active citizens have united to create sustainable impact in their communities.
One hundred years later, Junior Chamber International chapters worldwide are celebrating 100 Years of Impact. Here in Canada, we’ve decided to ask our 14 active chapters to submit stories of impact in their communities brought on by projects led by their local JCI. Here is our first story.
1961 Steinbach Jaycees offer a 24-hour ambulance service
The Steinbach Junior Chamber of Commerce, considered in the day to be one of the most active in Manitoba, proved its leadership qualities again in 1961 by inaugurating an ambulance service in the area.
Incorporated as a town on Dec.31, 1946, Steinbach, Manitoba was a growing community located 58 km southeast of Winnipeg. In 1961, with a population of 3,739 inhabitants, Steinbach needed many modern-day amenities but did not have the resources to make them a reality. This is where the Steinbach Jaycees decided to step up for their hometown.
The Steinbach Jaycees purchased an ambulance as well as provided 24-hour service to Steinbach and district residents. A blitz campaign raised $1,500 for the purchase of the unit through a donation from the town and municipality, as well as a smorgasbord donated by a local food store.
With the permission of the town council, the ambulance was stored at the local fire hall. Jaycees became volunteer drivers and were required to all successfully pass and maintain first aid training.
They took turns being on duty to provide round-the-clock service. This service continued until the area was taken over by the South Eastman Regional Health Authority.
An asset to the community
The people of Steinbach, through their generosity with this project, helped to further the idea that Jaycees are an asset to their community.
The JCI 100th anniversary celebration connects young active citizens across local, national and global communities to reflect on the positive change created in the last 100 years, while looking forward to some of the new challenges we face in this globally connected world.
The challenges transcend borders, and so, our solutions toward sustainability must also be global. No one individual, organization, or sector of society can provide sustainable solutions alone.
We, as Jaycees, encourage all young people to take ownership of the problems faced by their communities; and as the JCI movement propels into the next 100 years of impact, we’ll do our part to rise to the challenge, too.
You too can get involved. Join us at a JCI Winnipeg’s Month End Mixer to share your vision of a better community, engage JCI members toward betterment, and discover the avenues of potential and impact that exist within JCI Winnipeg. Visit jciwinnipeg.blogspot.ca for more information.

Winnipegger shares her voice on the world stage in Germany

By Danelle Hueging

One of the best decisions I made last year was participating in the JCI World Congress in Leipzig, Germany.
I was one of over 4,500 participants from 106 nations gathered in one place for a week of training, exchanges and international networking with Jaycees who all strive for positive impact in their community.
I stepped off the train from Berlin and into a conference like no other. Leipzig boasts a beautifully modern convention centre with grand halls that take your breath away – this is where the opening ceremonies took place.
Thousands of delegates grouped by nation waved their country’s flags and sang their anthems. Live music, dancing and pyrotechnics followed, filling the grand halls with jubilance and getting everyone energized for a week of learning, networking and celebration. It was day one, and already I was blown away!
And so kicked off my first JCI World Congress.
Every day of the week had its own theme: Invest, Impact, Collaborate, Connect and Motivate. All daily activities, like workshops with world-class keynote speakers and group discussions led by industry experts, revolved around these daily themes.
Mixed with these activities were the debate competition, training sessions, the World Effective Speaking Championship (where JCI Winnipeg’s Natasha Fisher represented the Americas), group excursions, trade shows and the General Assembly of all National Presidents.
There were so many activities to take in, but there were two I couldn’t miss: the World Effective Speaking Championship and the General Assembly.
Natasha Fisher brought JCI Winnipeg to the world stage in the effective speaking championship. Her path began in Winnipeg in 2013, where she competed locally, regionally and nationally to earn the top spot as Canada’s Effective Speaking Champion. Her next stop took her to the JCI Conference of the Americas in Medellín, Colombia in April 2014. Once again taking the top seed, Fisher earned her place on the world stage and would compete, as representative of the Americas, in Leipzig at the JCI World Congress. Finishing as one of the top four speakers in the world is quite the accomplishment for our own Winnipegger!
I also wanted to make sure to catch an important announcement regarding who was to host World Congress in 2016. The local JCI chapter in Quebec City, called Jeune chambre de commerce de Quebec, had submitted a bid to host, and it was awarded during General Assembly. I met up with all the Canadian delegates present at World Congress to celebrate this great news that represents over $12 million in economic activity for the Quebec City region as host.
Other highlights of the conference included workshops aimed at developing Jaycees who would return to their local chapters as certified JCI trainers; discussions revolving around sustainability and environmental impact; and the different projects other JCI chapters led in regard to these important issues. We also discussed Nothing but Nets, a campaign aimed at providing nets to fight against malaria in impoverished areas of the world.
The fun didn’t stop as in the evenings we were treated to nightly parties hosted by different chapters that showcased the many different cultures coming together under one roof.
There were plenty of opportunities to connect with other young professionals from all walks of life, including candidates for the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) recognitions like Darren Lomman from Australia, who applied his education and experience in biomedical engineering to a passion for helping people with disabilities. The success of his first invention, a hand-controlled motorcycle for paraplegics, quickly ignited the formation of DreamFit, a non-profit providing innovative equipment solutions for making dreams possible for people with disabilities.
Ruth Riley from the United States, a professional women’s basketball player in the WNBA, is a leader and visionary on and off the court. Riley joined the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to create awareness, advocate for government support, and inspire other athletes to join the fight against malaria. She also co-founded an NGO called Inspire Transformation. The organization’s programs support local leaders in underprivileged areas while establishing community-based initiatives using sports, music, counselling, or other activities to create positive change.
Inspiration and motivation comes easily after witnessing what these individuals could accomplish, often with fewer resources than what is available to us in Canada.
World Congress wrapped up with an impressive gala that united the 4,500-plus delegates into yet another beautiful grand hall. We kicked off the 100 Years of Impact celebration that marks JCI’s 100th anniversary in 2015, and the Jaycees sure do know how to throw a good party! Here’s to the next 100 years of empowering young people to create positive change!
You too can get involved. Join us at a JCI Winnipeg’s Month End Mixer to share your vision of a better community, engage JCI members toward betterment, and discover the avenues of potential and impact that exist within JCI Winnipeg to empower young people to create positive change. Visit jciwinnipeg.blogspot.ca for more information.

Junior Chamber stays tight with past members

By Danelle Hueging

Welcome back from the summer!
Over the last few months, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Winnipeg members have had the chance to get out on the links and network with our senators, both at the JCI Winnipeg Senators golf tournament held in July, and our own JCI Winnipeg tournament held the first weekend in September. These opportunities to engage not only with JCI senators but also with other members are valuable as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with us.
What is a JCI senator you ask? A senatorship is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a member of Junior Chamber International. It is a unique way to pay tribute to an individual for his or her dedication and outstanding service on either a local, national, or international level.
Individuals must have served in the JCI organization for at least three years and have applied their leadership skills to growing and improving the organization in order to be eligible.
Each senatorship bears a unique senate number and is awarded as a lifetime membership in JCI. In granting this prestigious award, the senate forges a critical link between present and past members.
Some of the interesting accomplishments our JCI senators have had a hand in over the years include building the Transcona Jaycees Day Care Centre, involvement in getting Rainbow Stage up and running, securing the Santa float for the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade, and starting the Transcona Hi Neighbour Festival which has been running for 50 years! Continue reading Junior Chamber stays tight with past members

Growing with JCI

A past member and board member of JCI Winnipeg, I was a part of JCI as long as I could be. It’s designed for those 18-40, and I have enjoyed celebrating my 40th already – otherwise I would still be in there taking advantage of the opportunities and experiences JCI presents.
Before I start to tell you about my JCI development, my question for you is: where are you right now with your life? Are you comfortable? Are you bored? Are you spinning your wheels because no one will give you a chance or opportunities? Do you dream of doing more?
In order for development to take place, you need options, a willingness to take risks, and teamwork. I work at Western Canada Lottery Corporation, currently as an analyst, with career goals that go far beyond my job description. In addition, I am a board member for the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival, The International Cello Festival of Canada and Ironman Outdoor Curling Bonspiel.
Joining JCI gave me access to programs and people that worked with the same mindset and energy. Just being with the group, you know you’ve found the right place, but that’s only the beginning.
Options for professional development in workshops are offered in the local chapter right up to the world level. I kid you not. Where can you access world-level opportunities where you are right now?
I would be remiss if I did not share that possibility; for me, the opportunity to interact with professional speakers and JCI members across Canada exceeded my wildest dreams for professional development.
Attending national speaking conventions in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario were simply amazing and it was thanks to the local chapter encouraging me to attend and being able to travel with the group. Each convention is also jam-packed with development workshops.
Taking risks
Risks are, depending on your point of view, good or bad. If you said risk is good, you’re the right person for JCI.
The thing about risk is that it can be measured, weighed and avoided. If a group of bright, young and dynamic people help their community, with events like organizing a Santa Claus workshop and float or a community park cleanup, and present opportunities to be a part of an award-winning board, where is the risk?
My own fears about standing out or being a leader were quickly silenced when I realized what a difference I could make by being engaged and being part of the moment, maximizing opportunities. Being part of JCI at the local level is where the grit is. You are the only one that will stop you from going further.
JCI is a positive group with deep roots in this city, with senators and past presidents that help new members, proven programs, and meaningful board functions. I will always be proud of how I helped this city with the Santa Claus Parade.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” You have to open yourself up to taking advantage of all the positive opportunities; you have to risk your old self to grow in to a new you, and you need to put that together with your ideas and a team.
There is a unique dynamic within JCI – it’s always searching for new opportunities for members to gain new experience outside of their current roles with work, family or school. You could be leading a team, handling marketing, working on finances or sponsorship, or speaking in front of crowds. Often, you have to put your skills to good use while developing new ones.
Through JCI development I helped organize a public speaking series with media, a politician, an actor, and the JCI board in attendance. It was fantastic how my organizing and leadership skills got a workout with this amazing team, helping this (once) new JCI member grow, and make new business contacts.
I will always be grateful for the professional development and life experiences I gained from JCI, and I have no regrets. I welcome you to find out for yourself; the door is open!
Michael Thompson “Be Better”