Growing up, did you know how to budget your money, the type of career you wanted to pursue or how to positively impact your community?

These are just a few of the many skill sets taught by Junior Achievement of Middle America. With the help of volunteers, the nonprofit has been educating K-12 students in Kansas and Missouri about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy since 1955.

Kenneth A. Spencer founded Junior Achievement (JA) in Kansas City, which began with the JA High School program involving 255 students and 40 volunteers. By the 1983-84 school year, the numbers grew to 2,120 students and 423 volunteers along with an additional 1,119 students and 146 volunteers in outlying operations. Today, they engage more than 20,000 students from more than 150 schools across the area.

Through hands-on learning opportunities, JA volunteers show students how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, create jobs which can make their communities more robust and apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.

Isn’t that the most important thing — preparing America’s youth for the future? As the world’s largest and fastest growing nonprofit economics education program, JA is doing just that.

JA is actively seeking volunteers for the 2015-16 school year. If you want to be a part of an organization that is helping shape today’s youth, you can volunteer by contacting Monail Cole, volunteer and program manager at 816-561-3558 ext. or [email protected] Volunteers must be 18-years-old and available during the school day. If you have special requests for the age of students with which you work, the location and/or curriculum you teach, they will work with you.

If you want to get involved but simply do not have the time, you can show your support financially. There are numerous fundraisers including the annual Bowl-a-Thon, Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame and Adopt a School/Classroom participation opportunities. You may also choose to host a student or a class to visit your office for one day.

Either way, you have the chance to bring opportunity and understanding to the classroom. For more information, visit jamidamerica.org.


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