Greet the giver: Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement uses hands-on approach to teach young adults

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida provides young people with lessons in economics, free enterprise and financial literacy through partnerships with educators, volunteers and the business community. Junior Achievement uses hands-on and experiential programs to teach work-readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship in levels K-12.

Junior Achievement programs help bolster the local workforce and contribute to economic growth by helping youths develop competitive skills and confidence. Junior Achievement teaches students how to apply the knowledge they learn in classrooms to real-world problems and equips them with the skills they need to be college- and career-ready.

More than 120 Junior Achievement Areas operate across the United States to preserve the message of free enterprise and pass it on to new generations.

1. If you could gather the community and tell them one thing about your charity, what would it be?

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (JASWFL) works to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. JASWFL works to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic and economic choices.

2. What is unique about having a charity in Southwest Florida?

Having run non-profits in Virginia, Southwest Florida is unique as we are governed more by our “seasons.” Special attention is given to our events based on the time of year and many of our donors and volunteers are transitional and in flux. We have seen a shift in the major industries and work forces, yet are encouraged by the proactive nature of our local leadership to continue to rebuild and dust off from recent economic setbacks and position Southwest Florida to be strong in the future.

3. What surprises you the most about working with this charity?

Junior Achievement is well known, but not known well. We make a tremendous impact on students by empowering them to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world — enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school. Junior Achievement programs are designed by educators and evaluated regularly. They are delivered by trained corporate and community volunteers who share their skills and personal and professional experiences to make learning come to life. In our community, JASWFL currently has more than 400 community volunteers delivering over 3,000 instructional content hours to 12,000 students this school year. The value of our volunteers is tremendous in keeping our program costs low, making Junior Achievement a great investment of donor dollars.

4. Why did you choose to devote your time to this cause instead of others?

I am driven by the work of a strong dynamic mission — one that makes a difference in young lives and the community as a whole. I believe in the boundless potential of young people, and see a huge need for financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills to be addressed and taught. Junior Achievement is addressing these issues and the work we do to develop our youth is impacting the future of our economy, education and workforce.

5. How does working for your charity make you feel?

Years of program research shows that youths who receive our programs are valuable to the future of their community as they proactively manage their finances, become entrepreneurs and develop skills that will be recognized and valuable in a global workforce. It makes me feel good to know that the work I’m doing now will make a difference in the future.

WANT TO GET INVOLVED?

Volunteers can get involved by using their personal and professional experiences and skills to teach Junior Achievement curriculum. The volunteer commitment is a total of 10 hours per class. Junior Achievement will work with volunteers’ schedules to complete the one hour training that is required to teach the curriculum and to find a school location and time that is convenient for the volunteer’s schedule. Junior Achievement also needs volunteers for various advisory committees, task forces and at the board level.

To volunteer, call (239) 225-2590 or visit www.jaswfl.org/volunteer/volunteer.html.

To invest in Junior Achievement programs or to sponsor a special event, visit www.jaswfl.org/donate/donate.html.

Anne Frazier, president and CEO

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Inc.

9530 Marketplace Rd., Ste. 302

Ft. Myers, FL 33912

Website: www.jaswfl.org

Phone: (239) 225-2590

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

The annual Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame will take place on Wednesday, April 25 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa at 5 p.m.

The event is held to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the economic development of Lee County and who have adhered to high moral and ethical principles. Scott Fischer of Scott Fischer Enterprises and Barbara Watt of Century 21 Sunbelt Realty have been selected as the this year’s laureates.

The cocktail reception will begin at 5 p.m. and dinner and awards will begin at 6:30 p.m. Individual seats cost $250. Bronze tables, which include four seats, cost $850. Silver tables, which include eight seats and two student seats, cost $1,650. Gold tables, which include eight seats and two student seats, cost $5,000. Business attire is preferred. Information: (239) 225-2590.

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