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Difference Maker: Youth reward. The prize? Jim would Child’s play take him out for lunch once a

month. Something so simple that made such a difference. The young man (no parents, bad home life, etc.) is now in high school, playing on the senior volleyball team. When he graduates, he has an apprenticeship job waiting for him that Jim lined up with a friend.

Ravenill Agencies Ltd. Edmonton

Far left: Co-coaches Jim Harris and daughter, Jen

Jim Harris, principal of Ravenhill Agencies, is an ex-cop surrounded by teachers: his wife, daughter and sonin-law, Caleb, who now works at the brokerage. He has seen first hand the impact that can be made when adults take an active interest in the lives of kids and the benefits to youth and society when kids are involved in sport. And so, Ravenhill has a philosophy of supporting its staff’s efforts in youth sport, “I don’t care if it’s your kid’s team, whatever. If you need the time, you’ve got it,� says Jim. Amongst the staff of five, Jim and Caleb coach volleyball, and Dave coaches hockey and soccer year-round. “The staff who are not coaching help by taking on the extra workload,� Caleb points out, “and they share in our success stories of the kids.� When Jim’s daughter Jen, a teacher at an Edmonton inner-city school, decided to take on the challenge of coaching the boys’ volleyball team, Jim offered to help. He admits that his initial involvement stemmed from his concern for his daughter’s safety – these were troubled kids from a rough part of town – but he quickly saw how the boys responded positively to being on the team.


He developed special relationships with many of the kids. He made a deal with one that, if he attended and tried his best at school, he would earn a 

His relationship with the kids expanded into teaching them all how to play hockey Celebrating a medal-winning performance and a year-end camping/hiking The school was closed down and last trip up to Nordegg for those who year, Jim’s daughter began a teaching achieved the “show up/try hardâ€? job at a brand new school in school challenge. Edmonton’s southwest, a decidedly more affluent area. Although some of the challenges are different, Caleb contends that the benefits of education through sport hold true. “They sound clichĂŠ but are a proven fact: teamwork, commitment, achieving goals, working through adversity, etc.,â€? he lists. For Jim, it boils down to: “It was more than volleyball, hockey “When you give 100% to sport and or hiking. It was about life. It taught 100% to school, you’ll give 100% to me that, if you spend a little bit of time the rest of your life.â€? with somebody, you can make a huge $500 donation prize to: Spruce difference.â€? Avenue School (for sports programs and equipment)


It was more than volleyball, hockey or hiking. It was about life.


AB Broker - Page 8  
AB Broker - Page 8  

Article from the Feb/March 2011 Issue of Alberta Broker