Rob Campbell has been a dedicated mentor in the JA Ottawa program, delivered by the Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE), for nearly five years. ONFE is proud to feature his efforts to prepare tomorrow’s leaders as part of our Volunteer Month.
As a sales and marketing guru and an experienced businessperson, Rob Campbell has an excellent grasp of the intricacies of the business world. In fact, raised in a family business, Rob was immersed in business and entrepreneurship from early on. He’s built a career in sales and entrepreneurship and he’s even pitched a business to CBC’s Dragons’ Den! As a business owner himself, Rob appreciates giving youth the chance to discover entrepreneurship: “Young people need every opportunity they can get to see what entrepreneurship, and being entrepreneurial, is about.”
Through his years of experience as a mentor, Rob has seen the many benefits of the JA Ottawa program and of setting the foundations of business: “As they become adults, these kids will not only be better leaders as graduates of the program, but even those who don’t go on to pursue business, entrepreneurship or management will still be better employees and colleagues because of what they learn and experience in the JA program.”
One of Rob’s favourite aspects of his volunteer work with JA is helping to plant the seeds of corporate social responsibility at a young age, encouraging teams to engage the optional seat for the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at their Executive table. “This,” he says, “is one of the most worthwhile and rewarding parts of the job.”
Every week, he sees the results and the impact of his time with the students he mentors when he “sees the lights go on for them”. He refers to the program as a win-win, as he gets the chance to give back to our community doing something he loves, while seeing the impact of his work. “I wish more people understood the importance of programs like JA,” he says, “and how easy it is to make a difference. I think it’s essential for today’s business leaders to set aside time to help build our future leaders.”
Rob sees working with the Board of Trade as a natural fit for JA. Currently, the JA Ottawa program reaches about 5,700 students annually. More volunteers and more funds would contribute to our ability to increase the number of schools and students we reach: “If everybody knew how rewarding and fun it was, they would volunteer. There’s no reason not to. If we want better leaders in the future, we have to start building them today.”
Rob, we couldn’t be more impressed by your commitment to the program for these last five years. Thank you!
JA Ottawa turns today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, by teaching entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. Getting involved is easy and impactful. Find out more: onfe-rope.ca/our-work/ja-ottawa/