I had the opportunity to teach financial literacy twice this past school year and cannot wait to do it again. The JA of Western MA team is amazing. The children are so involved in the lessons. If you have never done it get involved. You will not regret it.
My volunteering for JA of Western MA has proven to be a positve learning experience due in fact to the president of this very worthwhile and important organization, founded in Springfield, MA. She has taught me, and so many others that work with her, that dedication to a cause and a determind sense of will are so impotant in one's life. She conveys this in every undertaking dedicated to the success of JA and her work ethic is undaunting in these efforts. I have been involved in many of JA's fundraising events, i.e. The 5K road race, The Stock Market Challenge, The annual golf tounament and it has alway been Jennifer's tireless efforts that proved beneficial, resulting in a successful event. Each year she has worked to better the final result of each event, listening and implementing suggestions on how to attract volunteers and participants. I have come to realize that JA of Western Ma should and must be supported by small businesses, and area schools. It definitly is an organization that continues to benefit the youth of Western MA in a positve way. It builds self esteem and it has a direct effect in their learning development.
Not many people get to experience JA from a student's point of view as well as a teacher's, but I have! My mother started teaching JA classes when I was in elementary school and I was lucky enough to be in her class! I LOVED the activities and lessons that the volunteers brought to us! There is a perfect balance between fun and learning! If it wasn't for JA, I probably wouldn't have known how to do basic "grown up" things such as writing a check or keeping a budget. They also teach more complex topics, yet they are broken down for children of different ages to understand. There are also some extremely important warnings about credit cards that many older kids need to hear! Each volunteer teacher brings different skills and stories to the table so even if you attend a JA program every year, each class will have different lessons matched to your grade as well as a different role model to learn from. Teaching is also just as rewarding! I jumped at the chance to teach so that other kids could experience JA like I did.
Junior Achievement's program teaching children about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship is second to none! I volunteer for this group whenever possible; it is truly a rewarding experience. Junior Achievement's caring leaders are, in great part, responsible for the program's positive impact on our community.
My first experience with Junior Achievement began when I was only 8 years old. I remember the class was buzzing with excitement over the “special guest” that was coming in to talk with us. When the J.A. volunteer began to teach us about the benefits of assembly line production, however, the atmosphere of the classroom seemed to shift from giddy exuberance to a more focused learning environment; my classmates and I were all fascinated by each activity and eagerly participated. Seven years later I find myself on the other side of the desk, now teaching my own group of second graders as a J.A. Volunteer. The program I taught the children, “Our Community”, emphasized the opportunities and responsibilities in a community -and even had an assembly line activity!! Like my old classmates and I, they all participated enthusiastically, some of them raising their hands before I even finished asking the question. The true impact I had had on the students, though, did not become clearly apparent to me until the end of the day when students who had been strangers to me just a few hours before were rushing up to give me hugs and thank me for bringing J.A. to their classroom. Through that simple gesture, the students taught me something: no matter what your age or which side of the desk you’re on, Junior Achievement’s programs have a lot to offer and are a ton of fun too!
I become involved with Junior Achievement as a volunteer and will continue to do so every chance I can. The organization provides our children to learn about employment options, finances, and helping others in the community. It provides hands-on activites and keeps them engaged while learning. JA gives our children an insight into the working world of today. Given these tough economic times, this organization is needed now more than ever.
JA is continually evaluating their product to make sure it has the most impact on students. They are attuned to the 21st century skills our students need to help them be successful and fully participating citizens.
My involvement with Junior Achievement has come full circle -- formerly as a JA Student to present day as a board member. I feel the biggest benefit to our students is the various types of practical knowledge this program teaches. These are life skills, primarily centered around being financially savvy, which helps create a responsible economic foundation for these young adults. It's a paradox that out local JA Chapter struggles financially...the more we do, the more it costs, and we always want to do more!
I became involved with JA in high school and participated in the JA Company Program for three years, being elected President of my JA Company, Trayco, my senior year. I ran into one of my Trayco members last weekend and he started talking about how great JA was. In college I had the oportunity to volunteer for JA and today I teach at least 5 JA programs a year. For me it's the connection with our youth. Sharing my knowledge and using JA's great materials to help our young people become financially literate, explore career opportunities and develop their leadership skills makes me feel like I'm making a difference. Each year in Western Massachusetts over 400 people like me, step up and volunteer to teach JA in local classrooms. Last year JA volunteers reached over 10,000 students in Western MA. JA is a terrific organization that has been changing peoples lives for over 93 years!
I'm something of a latecomer to the value of Junior Achievement. My original impression was simply economic education, stock market, mock companies and the like. But I have come to realize its amazing ability to take youth, from all kinds of cirucmstances, and open up a whole new world to them. It not only exposes them to financial literacy but future careers and helps them to discover and tap into their potential. I'm proud to be, in my small way, a supporter of Junior Achievement.