Author: Evan Simmons
Published: Wednesday, 25 May 2016
226 adults volunteered in the 2015 - 2016 school year with over 6,200 students in the public school classrooms of 8 Big Country school districts by teaching Junior Achievement’s principles of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. By sharing their personal and professional experiences and skills with students, volunteers help students understand the skills they will need to succeed in life and proactively manage their finances. The dynamic interaction between the volunteers and students in the classroom is what sets Junior Achievement curriculum apart from others as the information is brought to life.
What separates one volunteer from another ... or, in this case, the other 225?
Selecting a JA Volunteer of the Year is a difficult process because each one brings special and unique qualities and attributes to the classroom. 63 volunteers had been in 2 or more classrooms this school year. And many give to JA in more ways than their time.
In 2015 - 2016, Casjen Rico (pronounced Cash - In) - a Credit Analyst with First Financial Bank - volunteered in 6 classrooms. S-I-X CLASSROOMS in ONE year! Casjen volunteered at Wylie Intermediate School, Lee Elementary School, Cooper High School (once each semester), and was integral in both Reverse JA in a Day programs at First Financial Bank.
Upon being asked about what keeps him going back to volunteer time and time again, Casjen shared, “Actually, my first JA session was a terrible experience. I came back to work and told my boss that I didn't want to go back. But, of course, I did. Each week, I felt like I was wasting my time because the students acted like they didn't care about what we were doing. But, by the last session (of 5), I could tell that it was an 'act' for their friends because I really struggled to find a recap question from the program that they didn't remember the answer. They captured the important peices of learning personal finance! That last session will keep me going back into JA classrooms."
Junior Achievement has so many amazing volunteers like Casjen!
Ultimately, Junior Achievement strives to empower young people to own their future economic success. For as little as an hour per week (for 5-8 weeks), local volunteers can inspire and prepare young people to achieve their economic success in the Big Country! Click here to sign up to be contacted about volunteer opportunities through Junior Achievement of Abilene.