JA Volunteer Finds Experience Enriching in Ohio and Azerbaijan

By sharing their experiences and skills with students in their communities, Junior Achievement volunteers help young people make a connection between what they are learning in school and what they will need to succeed in work and life, but volunteers also benefit from the experience. In fact, many volunteers report that their JA experiences leave them feeling proud, energized and hopeful about a better future for young people. Susan Kay is just such a volunteer. Susan recently wrote to Junior Achievement to describe her unusual "vacation" experience and her ongoing affiliation with Junior Achievement, an affiliation that began in the United States and continues in Azerbaijan. ?"I needed a break from my daily work, and I had extra vacation time," wrote Susan, so "I became a volunteer in two classrooms at Ella Canavan Elementary School in Medina, Ohio, in 2008-2009." Describing her teachers as "awesome," "always ready for me," and "encouraging" and the JA?Our Community? program as "well organized," Susan ultimately described her U.S. experiences with Junior Achievement as "rewarding beyond my expectations."In 2010, Susan became a Peace Corps volunteer and relocated to Sumgayit, Azerbaijan. There, she continued her affiliation with Junior Achievement. "Peace Corps volunteers are encouraged to do community work along with site placement. Google hit the spot when I found Junior Achievement Azerbaijan," wrote Susan. She been volunteering in 2011 and continues in 2012, teaching JA?s business and entrepreneurship programs to secondary school students.Junior Achievement provides volunteers with an opportunity to serve young people and to obtain personal fulfillment. "Investing four hours a week as a Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio volunteer provided one of the most refreshing and energizing experiences of my life," wrote Susan, who also expressed gratitude at the enrichment that JA volunteering has brought to her life, both in the United States and abroad.

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