High School Student Loves Working with Younger Children

Laura Belter, operations assistant for Brown County, shared this letter her office received from a student volunteer. "Olivia does a lot of volunteer work for our office as well as being on the JAB, Student Advisory Board. She was just a recipient of a $1,000 JA scholarship, she was super excited. Just a really nice young lady," Laura said. Here is the letter Olivia wrote.

My name is Olivia Rao and I am a junior at East De Pere High School. I have participated in the Junior Achievement Business Challenge (JABC) and the Junior Advisory Board (JAB) with JA of Brown County. This year I was able to further my participation with JA by becoming a classroom volunteer. During the 2014-15 school year, I volunteered at two local elementary schools to teach the JA Our Families and JA Our City curriculum to first and third graders. I really enjoyed seeing how eager the students were to participate in the activities and discussions. One of my favorite memories from the experience was when the students and I were discussing about entrepreneurs and a boy said, "Those are like the guys on Shark Tank, right?" I smiled and thought how cool it was to see students connecting what they were learning in the classroom to real-world examples.

It was heartwarming to see how the students were responding to a high school student becoming their "teacher" for five weeks. I felt fulfilled knowing that the students were enjoying the program and that my engagement with the students had a positive impact on their perspective about community and business. Nothing beats the feeling of being a role model to young kids.

I miss hearing the students calling me "Miss Olivia" and rushing in to give me a high five at the beginning of each session. Their enthusiasm made each session really enjoyable. On the day of the last session, all of the students asked me when I could come back and visit them. The impact that Junior Achievement had on the students was evident and I am positive that they will remember this program for the rest of their lives. It was sad to see the program end; however, I am looking forward to volunteering the classroom again next fall.

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