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Making a positive difference in students’ lives

We are a charity dedicated to ensuring all young people in Waterloo Region can build their path to fulfilling careers.

We do this by empowering youth to explore and prepare for the world of work in partnership with their parents, educators and our local workforce.

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Our Story

In the early 2000s, leaders from our local business and education communities shared an idea. Waterloo Region has one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world: Why not use that resource to help our kids better understand and prepare for the changing world of work?

Those leaders created the Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region. Since 2002, we empowered over 130,000 youth across Waterloo Region to explore and prepare for the world of work through programs offered in partnership with their parents, educators and our local workforce.

Our goal is that every young person in Waterloo Region can build their path to fulfilling careers

To achieve this goal, we provides meaningful opportunities for employers to develop their future workforce, engage their current employees in volunteerism, and demonstrate themselves as an employer of choice.

Our work is good for students, good for business, and good for Waterloo Region.

We invite you to join us!

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Meet our team

Our team is passionate about informing and inspiring the career development of young people.

Andrea Harding

Executive Director (Interim)

"As a student I remember how overwhelming it can feel to determine a career path. Through the BEP I am excited to help ease that feeling and provide youth with various opportunities to explore the options available to them. I have a passion for community building and look forward to connecting youth to all the amazing stories and experiences our community has to share."

April Albano

Executive Director (on Parental Leave)

"I have walked alongside thousands of youth as they decide what is next for them in their education and career. There is nothing better than seeing a students eyes light up when they discover a career that feels like the right fit. Through the BEP we help students during this discovery phase and teach them foundational skills that will help throughout their career journey. I look forward connecting with youth and building up creative confidence!"

Jennifer Birnstihl

Program Manager - Speakers Bureau

"My job is very rewarding as I get to inspire young people and help them discover career possibilities. I get to connect caring educators with our incredible volunteer speakers who, by sharing their career stories, are making a positive impact. Together, I know that we are making a difference in the lives of local youth by exposing them to new ideas, encouraging them to embrace their talents and make better informed decisions about their future. I can’t think of a better way to spend my days sharing my passion for helping others and sharing lessons learned on my own winding career path. As a mother of 3 youth, I can totally relate to the anxiety youth face as they start navigating their futures."

Julie Dreisinger

Program Manager

"As a parent of 2 adult children myself, I have been a first-hand witness to the challenges and uncertainty in deciphering the best way to to help youth with these major decisions around schooling and their career. The resources and experiential opportunities we are able to provide at the BEP ignite my passion; I know I am assisting youth in making wiser and more informed career choices."

Lauren Harvey

Communications and Marketing Manager

"I strongly believe that all my experiences have led me to working for the BEP. From working with youth in remote northern communities, to at-risk youth in urban areas, my passion has always been helping youth see their potential and find their purpose. I love working through creative solutions, empowering youth to believe in their dreams, and am thrilled that I get the privilege of amplifying their stories across the region and beyond!"

Board of Directors

We are leaders from our local business and education communities, working together to build a stronger Waterloo Region.

Supporters

We thank our supporters for their contribution to making every day Career Day for youth across Waterloo Region.

$50,000+

$25,000 - $49,999

$10,000 - $24,999

$5,000 - $9,999

$2,000 - $4,999

INDIVIDUAL DONORS

  • • Graham Parkinson
  • • Katherine St. Louis
  • • Nicole Fernandes
  • • Scott Higgins
  • • Michael Gallant

Join Us

Join us in our mission of educating and inspiring the youth of Waterloo Region.

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