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Jay Gamey.

Jay Gamey.

Mini moments. Big impact.

May 7, 2018 — 

Being identified as a leader by your peers or a mentor is a powerful moment. Growing up Jay Gamey was given opportunities to lead by coaches, teachers and employers but in those moments he didn’t realize the impact it would have on him later in life or on his own development. At the time, all Jay wanted was to be a positive leader who helped others reach their goals.

Today, as the director of Mini U Programs, Jay Gamey inspires his team to recreate those special moments for the 7,000 plus children and employees who take part in one of the most successful children’s day camps in Winnipeg.

“When I became the director, I realized it was about the skills that make you a leader, it’s about the pathway,” recalls Gamey. “It became clear to me that you don’t have to be the captain to be a leader, leadership moments happen in everything you do.”

That is the essence of Mini U; giving someone an opportunity or the space to lead is how the Mini U team creates these special moments. It is woven into every interaction of the delivery of their programs whether peer-to-peer or leader-to-participant.

“We want to move away from our traditional understanding of leadership. We want to break it down and allow children to develop the skills that contribute to positive leadership development. Our Mini U leadership model is the tool that allows us to do that,” explains Gamey.

The model is based on five key attributes: communication, building relationships, teamwork, problem solving and reflection. Children earn leadership cards when they display these characteristics throughout their time at Mini U.

“We see kids working hard to earn these cards every day. They look for ways to help the leaders, they help their friends, and they begin to figure out how to solve problems.” Jay goes on, “these are the moments that we hope will have an impact in their lives as they grow.”

When Jay Gamey speaks about Mini U it is clear that he has a passion to inspire, encourage and help others in the same way others helped him realize his own capabilities.

“When someone recognizes potential in you that you didn’t recognize yourself – that is the essence and inspiration of what we are trying to do here.”


For more information or to register your child for Mini U Programs, visit

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