Volunteers

Why volunteer with JA of Georgia?

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"I enjoy this opportunity to give back to the students in our city, and to develop their financial literacy and core business skills, which are needed to succeed in today's ever-changing world."

Ben Ansell, Senior Consultant, Deloitte

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"My students see the value in the program, and realize their ability to serve our community without writing a check."

Leigh Keever, Professor, Chattahoochee Technical College

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"I volunteer with JA of Georgia because it changes lives, plain and simple.

Patrick Ready, Senior Consultant, Deloitte

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"Volunteering with JA of Georgia allows me to share my experiences with students in hopes of fostering their limitless potential."

Muriam Nagess, Volunteer Coordinator, Gwinnett County Government

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"I see so much potential in every student that I work with, and I believe that everyone can do great things."

Bobby Nguyen, Junior, Georgia Gwinnett College

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"While most adults deal with money every day, financial education is not something that is offered to most of our children. This is an opportunity for me to serve my community by helping young people learn skills that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives.

Crystal Grier, Administrative Assistant, Wells Fargo

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"I believe this program provides an unmatched experience for students and future leaders. Over the years I have been able to share and gain so much knowledge."

Fred Brooks, Project Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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"I enjoy helping children learn and prepare for their future. The most enjoyable part is seeing how excited and engaged the students are during their time at JA. That excitement and genuine interest they have while at JA keeps me coming back for more.

Dave Reese, Indirect Lending Officer, BrandAuto Finance President, BrandBank

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Volunteers are integral to our success at JA of Georgia. As we kickoff a week of celebrating and recognizing their impact on our organization, let's start with the basics. Where do our volunteers come from and how many of them are there?

Volunteers at JA of Georgia

As you can see, not only do we work with an incredible amount of volunteers, but we also work with a diversity of sources.

Volunteers who spend a day, and often numerous days throughout the year, with students at a JA Discovery Center are more than your average ‘feel-good’ volunteer. They coach groups of students through the simulations, but they don’t stop at just helping them check off their to-do lists. They give advice, help foster innovative thinking, and emphasize the importance of communication, collaboration and goal setting.

Throughout all of that, they share their own experiences. Things that worked for them, things that didn’t. Lessons they learned through their successes as well as failures, and wisdom they’ve received that has stood the test of time. It’s this personal connection that helps bring the experience to life for the students. They have the opportunity to hear from an adult other than a parent or teacher, often times about careers and situations they may have never
considered before now.

Over the next few days, we'll share stories and insights from our volunteers that demonstrate just how important, and rewarding, their impact is. 

Thankful: conscious of benefit received; expressive of thanks

We are so thankful for all of our partners, volunteers, teachers and students. During this season when gratefulness is top of mind, we’d like to take a moment to spotlight one of these segments in particular: teachers.

It goes without saying that we couldn’t impact as many students as deeply as we do without teachers. For students visiting the JA Discovery Centers, teachers bring the classroom curriculum to life to prepare the students. At JA Academies, teachers evolve from someone who delivers a history lesson, to some students’ role models, mentors and biggest cheerleaders.

At the 2017 JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame we had the pleasure of hearing from the lead teacher at Banneker High School, our inaugural JA Academy. Ms. LaToya Morgan embodies what it means to be passionate about your work. Every student of hers knows without question that she is rooting for their success, even in moments of tough love. It was truly an honor hear to her get the opportunity to boast about her students and all they’ve accomplished in such a short time. Check out a snippet of her speech below:

“My students attend a Title 1 public high school. Every single one of them live at or below the poverty line. According to every piece of research, they are the pinnacle of disengagement in education. Yet, our kids are showing up to school, leaning into their education, lifting each other up and learning at accelerated rates.

The students leaped nearly three grade levels in reading and math, and outperform their peers on all 9th grade state test, and get this they surpassed students just like them from schools throughout Fulton County.  

 To say JA Academy is transforming students is an understatement.

Bottom line, these kids prove poverty can no longer be a blanket excuse for poor performance in our schools.

When we as a community step up to bring innovation to education, every child has the potential to excel farther than the limitations dictated to them by society.

Our students have been exposed to possibilities many of them could never have imagined. Because of this they have a greater respect for their education- and they are working tirelessly to fuel the futures for themselves and their communities. 

JA Academy does not just make school different it elevates every individual involved.

My students look at the world and the role they can play differently. They’re not just dreamers. They know how to work hard, set goals and put forth the effort to reach the finish line.

They are defying every stereotype and invisible barrier that has been placed on them their entire lives.  Today, they are leaders in our schools, tomorrow they will be leaders of our communities. They are the ones breaking the cycle and rewriting the narrative about today’s generation.  They are the ones proving to their little brothers and sisters that there is more than one option for their futures.

I work hard because my students are my life’s work, but they are the real heroes. They are resilient, determined, driven and inspire me to be a better person and teacher every day. Because of them I know the work we are doing today will impact generations to come.”

Teachers like Ms. Morgan make our work at JA a no brainer. If we can provide passionate and driven teachers like her the space and resources they need to make learning different, who says we can’t transform the entire high school education experience?