JA Teen Volunteer Teaches Work Readiness Skills

The typical teenager is more concerned about having a date for homecoming than diving into business books. But not Cameron Wall. Monail Cole, volunteer and program manager at Junior Achievement of Middle America in Kansas City, Mo., shared Cameron's story.

Cameron had a JA program in elementary school and then he returned to Junior Achievement to teach JA Our Region to a fourth grade class. Here is what Cameron shared. I'm currently a junior in Overland Park, Kansas. Around my freshman year, I decided to go into business, and luckily for me, the clubs DECA and FBLA solidified that notion.

Within the past year, I've realized how important education is. I feel extremely lucky to have gone to schools that fostered a strong education, and as such, looked for a means to share that passion and express its importance to those younger than me. It's definitely something I wish I had realized earlier. I found Junior Achievement while looking for a place to volunteer. It sounded familiar, and I soon realized I had had a JA class while I was in fifth grade. We had a young man tell us how he quickly rose to the position of manager at Dairy Queen at only 16 years old. That shocked me! 16 years old and a manager? He told us the key to his success was working hard and always going above and beyond what his boss expected. This was something I took to heart and have tried to apply to my daily life.

As soon as I turned 16, I started working at a local sports bar as a host, and using what my JA instructor taught me, worked as diligently as I could, going well above and beyond what was expected. My boss was quick to tell me I was the most mature, impressive 16-year-old he had worked with. Later the next summer I worked an unpaid internship at a brand positioning company, and now I'm happily a paid employee, working with local businesses to develop business strategies based upon brand research. So personally, I feel like this is what JA has done for me. In terms of the future, I hope to attend business school and then go into finance or marketing.

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