Building Brighter Futures Through Youth Financial Literacy - Presley & Partners - Presley & Partners


Advice and articles from our team leaders, specifically for business owners.
January 8th, 2019

Building Brighter Futures Through Youth Financial Literacy

Colleen Ellison, Business Advisor, CPA, CA and CGA

Colleen Ellison manages to keep pretty busy.

Not only is the mother of two a successful business advisor and an accountant with decades of experience, but she’s also a cornerstone member of the Comox Valley’s volunteer community.

Colleen has been a long-standing member of the Comox Valley Recreation board, the treasurer and a Level 1 coach for the Strathcona Nordic Ski club, and is currently the treasurer for Mountain Mentors – a non-profit organization based in Whistler that aims to create an empowered community of female outdoorswomen.

And in addition to promoting healthy living, Colleen cares deeply about helping kids.

That’s why she has spent the last five years volunteering in classrooms around the Comox Valley to help educate youth about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and succeeding in our global economy.

Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs

Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire Canadian youth to succeed. From elementary through to high school levels, its curriculum includes age-appropriate, skill-building classes on budgeting, networking, business and workplace communication.

As part of this federal initiative, volunteers from across the professional community – like Colleen – go directly into the classroom and help facilitate learning about things like financial literacy.

“I strongly believe in education being the key to our community’s future,” Colleen explains. “My kids are grown now, and so a lot of my volunteering centres on helping children, both through Junior Achievement and youth groups. It’s a huge motivator for me and also why my family sponsors three children in third-world countries – we feel like all kids deserve access to education.”

Connect with a cause, better your community

Junior Achievement’s volunteer program is something Colleen finds immensely rewarding, partly because before she fell in love with accounting, she wanted to become a teacher.

But it was through her son that she first became involved with the organization. His experiences with them helped shape his future career in commerce; seeing how the program impacted him struck a chord with her.

It’s this simple act of connecting with a cause you care deeply about as an individual, she contends, that makes giving back so easy.

“Professionals in the Comox Valley boast such unique skills and expertise, and by lending them to a cause you believe in, you can do so much good. For me, nothing could be more rewarding than watching these kids flourish and gain the confidence they need to succeed in business and in life.”

Colleen Ellison is a Business Advisor, Chartered Professional Accountant, CGA, CA and Partner with Presley & Partners, CPAs and Business Advisors, in Courtenay, BC. She can be reached at 250.338.1394 or