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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.

April Albano

Executive Director (Interim)

"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!"

Scott Verhoeve

Associate Director

“As a student and student teacher, I met many talented young people who were feeling lost and frustrated about their choices for school and work. As part of the BEP, I’m excited to connect youth to experiences that help them better understand their talents and opportunities!”

Jennifer Birnstihl

Program Manager

"As a mother of 3 youth, I relate to the apprehension and turmoil youth face as they navigate their futures. In my role at BEP, I look forward to helping young people discover career options, embrace their talents and make better informed decisions about their school and career paths. I welcome this opportunity to make a positive difference by sharing my passion for helping others and experiences gained on my own winding career path."

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

Program & Communications Coordinator

"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!"

Bethany Correia

Program Coordinator, Youth Innovation

"During my experience as a student, I discovered that community building is a reciprocal process; while I actively dedicated my heart to fostering community on my school campus, the work served me in return as a significant wellness support through my ongoing mental health journey. The BEP praises the gifts of local young people, and aims to make them feel reciprocated within the community, whether that is through helping them explore career choices, championing their innovative ideas, or providing a sense of recognition and belonging. I am so energized by the privilege to grow alongside bright youth in our region!"

Ashley Mayhew

Innovation Team Assistant

"Since I can remember, my passion has been working with youth, encouraging them to use their creative skills and interests to find their purpose. I have worked with youth to develop their creative skills, as well as students with disabilities who need an outlet to share their abilities. I feel as though these experiences have brought me to my place working with the BEP team. I am overjoyed to work alongside youth, as they bring their dream to life!"

Lucas Ridgen

Communications Coordinator

"The creativity of students involved with BEP initiatives always amazes me. It has given me a refreshingly positive outlook on how the up and coming generation of young people will succeed."

Board of Directors

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


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


$25,000 - $49,999

$10,000 - $24,999

$5,000 - $9,999

$2,000 - $4,999


  • • 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.