I usually get a bit nervous right before a big presentation at work.  Little did I know I would have the same nervous feeling getting up in front of an elementary school class!  For business presentations, you get ready for it by reviewing your materials and preparing answers to questions that you know will probably be asked.  However, it is much different preparing for an audience of 3rd graders… anything could happen!

Volunteering for Junior Achievement (JA) really challenged me to step out of my comfort zone.  Are they listening?  Will they understand me?  Will I make a positive impact in their lives?  These were thoughts that went through my head when I entered the classroom.  All eyes were on me.  I took a deep breath and said “Good morning, everyone!”  My nerves were immediately calmed when I received a loud chorus of “GOOD MORNING!” greetings from the students.  I could tell they were excited to hear what I had to say… excited to learn.

We spent the entire day without a dull moment.  JA puts together a great curriculum to teach young students basic concepts of generating and managing wealth, contributing to the community, and applying entrepreneurial thinking into the workplace.  I was thrilled to see the creativity and discussion the students were engaging in.  They exhibited a great amount of teamwork and it was heartwarming to watch them make decisions and solve problems together.

My JA experience was definitely a positive one.  It brought me joy seeing a sense of accomplishment and pride in these students.  It was very inspiring to know that my engagement got them very excited about learning and that I have provided a positive impact on their perspective of what’s to come in the future.

For more information on how you can get involved with Junior Achievement, please visit www.ja.org