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Big Country "JA Kid" Returns to Junior Achievement as JA Volunteer & Board Member

It has likely been quite some time since someone described Josh Greer as a "kid." A 1998 graduate of Wylie High School, Josh is now the Lead Account Executive for Major Accounts at Abilene Reporter-News. While at Wylie Middle School, Josh received a Junior Achievement program and has since become a JA volunteer and recently joined the Junior Achievement of Abilene Board of Directors (Fall 2014). Josh recently shared with us how JA impacted him as a teenager and why he serves Big Country youth through JA now.Tell me about your experience with Junior Achievement. How old were you? Where? What specifically do you remember from your JA program? "I was introduced to Junior Achievement as an eighth grader at Wylie Middle School. Our class volunteer was Jack Rentz (then with ABCO Boilers). At first, as may often be the case, the significance of JA was the change from our mundane history class. There were activities and a new face, so it was exciting! Yet I quickly leaned there was much more to it. One activity, in particular, really stood out then and has stuck with me even now. It was an exercise in efficiency and team work. We broke into two teams and each team was given the same task of assembling click pens. The pens were separated into all the individual parts: ink cartridge, spring, top, bottom, and the parts of the click mechanism. As the two teams went to their assigned area on either side of the classroom, Mr. Rentz gave one last bit of instruction, "Team one would assemble the pens individually as team two would be allowed to work from an assembly line." The teams got ready, the clock started, and off we went. After the contest the results were tallied and team two had totaled many more pens than team one. The lesson was clear: teamwork leads to efficiency and efficiency leads to profit." What do you do now in your current job? "At Abilene Reporter-News, I am responsible for proposing and then managing the advertising plans for the newspaper?s largest accounts. The daily responsibility mainly consists of assuring that the advertisements, inserts and internet placements that have been planned run as scheduled and that new revenue plans are pursued."How have the principles learned through JA impacted your life as an adult? "The principle of being efficient has been of major importance to me. I have thought about that simple eighth grade lesson and how, in some way, it helped prepare me for business endeavors. In my career prior to my time at the Reporter-News, I managed the outside contracts for Goodwill West Texas. When I began working in that position I realized that major strides could be made in efficiency and margins could be increased. Being part of a period of major growth for the non-profit was an honor. In my current role at Reporter-News, being able to delegate and work as a team is essential in order to limit mistakes and maximize revenue."What made you want to serve area youth as a JA volunteer and now as a JA Board Member? "Realizing that JA was part of my education experience that has shaped me into who I am today is a major part of my desire to serve. Life experience is another motivator. JA teaches skills that many in today?s work force seem to lack. My work in the non-profit sector revealed to me first-hand what the lack of training in work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy can mean to a person. If something I can do can help others avoid that pitfall, then I want to give it my best."What would you tell someone else who was thinking about volunteering with Junior Achievement? "The reward far outweighs the time commitment. "First thing: being in the classroom and helping students through the activities is entertaining. Second, imagine providing a bit of knowledge that you have that may help shape a student?s life! The most rewarding things may never be known to you as you volunteer, but what you do in the classroom could truly change someone forever. For instance, giving someone a hint on how to answer an interview question may lead to a perfect first job. That opportunity, in turn, opens doors to a whole new career opportunity that may have never crossed that student?s mind. Being part of that is special and something that is well worth the hour per week spent out of the office." Request information about becoming a JA Volunteer here. <http://bit.ly/JAvolnow>

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