JA Volunteers Excited by Their Experience

Volunteers give their time and talent to Junior Achievement for a variety of reasons. Some volunteer because they enjoy student interaction. Some do it because they support the JA mission and yet others just enjoy giving back to their communities. Tawnya Hambly, public relations director for Junior Achievement of the Heartland, shared this story of a couple JA volunteers.Tim Smith has been a fan of Junior Achievement for two decades, first as a social studies teacher who hosted JA volunteers in his classroom and now as a school superintendent who volunteers himself. Tim admits that sometimes the best lessons in the classroom don?t come from the teacher. "It?s a different face in the classroom that automatically engages the students," Tim said. He said there?s true value to introducing business education to students at a young age. "Rather than just describing scenarios in a textbook, JA teaches students about their actual surroundings," Tim said. "It gives students an appreciation of hard work and the value of money. They learn that money doesn?t just show up, you have to earn it. It?s the kind of education that?s crucial. By the time the children finish, they have a good understanding of business and finance."Another volunteer, Liz Baptist, the business manager for an area hospital who?s been volunteering with Junior Achievement for 15 years, agrees wholeheartedly. She said she also learned a lot from her time in the classroom."Not all the benefits go to the students. I really enjoy seeing their excitement about the programs," Liz commented. "The second and third-grade children are fun because everything is new to them and they?re so sweet. And yes, they might be sweet, but thanks to Junior Achievement and its many volunteers, they?ll also be educated about business."

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