On Thursday evening, September 21, Junior Achievement in partnership with The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services and Heidelberg University hosted an After Five gathering at the Great Wickham Hall located at Heidelberg University.

Approximately thirty attendees were welcomed by Dr. Haseeb Ahmed, Dean of Heidelberg’s School of Business, Computer Science, and Information Technology. Dr. Ahmed also serves as Chairman of Junior Achievement of Seneca County.  Dr. Ahmed shared the need for Junior Achievement’s career readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy education programs in the development of k-12 youth. He also thanked the JA volunteers, businesses, and educators in attendance for their generous support of Junior Achievement programming throughout Seneca County. Over 1,300 area young people receive Junior Achievement annually.

Next, Jeff Bosch, President of Junior Achievement of Northwestern Ohio shared his thoughts on the value that Junior Achievement volunteers play in the instruction and development of our youth. He noted that JA will be celebrating its 100 anniversary in two years and during that time Junior Achievement and its volunteers have improved millions of lives worldwide. Jeff reported that Junior Achievement is in need of three volunteers to present JA programming in three Columbian High School classrooms this Fall and Spring 2018. Volunteers will be presenting JA’s entrepreneurship and career readiness education programs to the three classrooms. In addition to training and preparation time, time commitment for “each” of the three classrooms is seven class period presentations. If interested in volunteering, please email Jeff Bosch at jbosch@janwo.org.

Following Jeff, Maryann Semer, Quality Assurance Supervisor at Graymont and JA volunteer shared her experience as a classroom volunteer at Hopewell-Loudon Schools. Maryann shared with the group, in detail, that teaching JA to young people has made a significant impact on her life and she encourages others to volunteer. She concluded her message by displaying a thank you box that a student had given her following a JA class she taught this Spring. Inside the box was a list of everything the young student had learned from Maryann, during her JA presentations.

Lastly, Theresa Lucius, educator at Hopewell-Loudon School, shared her JA experience as a teacher hosting Maryann Semer in her classroom. Theresa noted that she was not aware of Junior Achievement, until she received an email describing JA’s mission, curriculum, and benefits to students & educators. In addition, JA programming is provided at no financial cost to schools or students caught Theresa’s attention.  Theresa continued that her students found JA’s approach to teaching fun and interesting. Rather than Maryann lecturing to her students, Theresa noted that Maryann would introduce a few economic terms, with discussion, at the beginning of each class period then use the remainder of class time to complete team-building exercises that would reinforce the economic terms & discussion introduced earlier.

Junior Achievement is in need of volunteers to present JA to classrooms this school year in our community. If interested in volunteering, please contact Jeff Bosch at jbosch@janwo.org.