The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal launches its annual edition of Operation Back to School.
What is Operation Back to School?
Every year since 1997, the Chamber has invited members and business people from every sector of activity to “go back to school” to meet with a group of students from a high school or community organization in Greater Montréal, share with them their experience and passion for their work and encourage them to stay in school.
Over the years, thanks to Operation Back to School, 165,000 young people have had the chance to hear the stories of business men and women and to draw inspiration from them to persevere and fulfill their professional potential.
"School retention is one of the main drivers of healthy development for our economy, and young people need support and encouragement. It is highly motivating for them to hear the stories of professionals from different settings and sectors."
How does the program work?
During in-class encounters that last around 75 minutes, speakers present their education and career path, listen to students’ concerns about their professional future, answer their questions and encourage them to continue in their efforts to achieve the career they want.
Business people who want to take part in the program can register online. They should indicate on the registration form the times they are available and the geographical areas they can travel to, and briefly describe their career path. This information will help the Chamber team match them with a group of students, based on profiles and availability. Three dates will be proposed for each encounter, and speakers will choose the date that is most convenient for them. Speakers may be invited to meet more than one group of students.
Some 4,200 business people have taken part in Operation Back to School since the program’s inception.
Teachers can register several classes for the program. Registration is done via an online form, which you can use to propose a number of dates and indicate the ideal speaker profile. Once you are paired with a speaker based on these criteria, the Chamber team will email you with the details of the event two or three weeks ahead of time. Teachers are encouraged to contact the speaker assigned to them to outline their expectations and needs for the event.
For each participating class, teachers are also encouraged to choose a student who will be eligible for a stay-in-school scholarship worth $1,500. A selection committee made up of Chamber members will determine the winners from among the nominations received. A scholarship award ceremony will be held at the end of the school year, to which winning students, their teachers and speakers will be invited.
"I have been taking part in Operation Back to School for the past 22 years. I look forward to meeting more business people and giving my students the benefit of their experience. Scholarships are a great way to send the message that they should persevere."
In 2018, ten students received scholarships. During the last decade alone, 90 scholarships totalling $120,000 were awarded to participating students.
Operation Back to School is made possible through the financial support of Montréal Relève, the participation of its Silver ambassadors: Aéroports de Montréal, the Montreal CPA Group, Pomerleau and Rio Tinto, and of its association partner, Réseau réussite Montréal.
» Register for the 23rd edition of Operation Back to School by October 30, 2018. Together, we can improve the future of young people.