813.605.1764
jatampabay@ja.org

Blog

Blog


Welcome to JA Tampa Bay’s Blog

Stay up to date with all of JA Tampa Bay news, features and exclusive content here!

18 1114 JA BizTown Fidelity01

April 2020

National Volunteer Month

Lily Borges

Associate Product Marketing Manager

ReliaQuest

 

Lily Borges from ReliaQuest shares her JA Volunteer experience. ReliaQuest have been leaders of volunteerism and support of JA Tampa Bay, consistently giving back to the community and helping inspire our students tomorrows.

National Volunteer Month

Alan Stevenson & Earle Lusk

Alan:    

I am now retired, but I began my Junior Achievement experience during ‘The Great Recession’.  During an unemployment networking meeting, a staff member from the local JA office came to speak to our group asking us to consider ‘giving back’ to the community while we were searching for our next employment opportunity.  It was during this networking meeting that I met my JA classroom teaching partner, Earle Lusk.  We have been a Junior Achievement (JA) classroom volunteer since 2008 and we still volunteer as a team to this day.

Earle:

I first became involved in Junior Achievement over 50 years ago when I was in high school.  At the time JA was only offered at the high school level, and my school’s version was as an after school company program. We elected officers, decided on the name of our company, decided what product to manufacture and sell (aluminum cookie sheets), etc.  Our company “employees” sold stock in our company to raise money to buy materials to manufacture our product.  After selling the cookie sheets, we had our accountant figure out what our revenue was, subtract expenses, and calculate our profit.  It was a good year!  The experience was so rewarding and enlightening that I wound up doing the program for two consecutive years.  It had a positive effect on me and helped shape my future career plans.

Alan:

Earle and I are opposites on everything from politics to education.  I was a Mathematics major and ‘Rocket Scientist’ in my Information Technology programming and management career working in 15 different cities on three continents and moving my wife and three children seven different times.  Earle had a business education and worked as a buyer for a major department store and a national drug store as well as a salesman at a few other companies.  Earle also extensively traveled to Asia as a buyer.  As a result of our JA partnership and mutual respect for one another, Earle and I have become very close friends.  We are a testament to the fact that opposites attract.  In fact, the local JA office refers to us as either “The Odd Couple” or “Dynamic Duo” depending on the point they want to get across.

 

Read More!

National Volunteer Month

Sandy Gault

Leto High School

Sandy Gault, Academy Director/Lead Teacher/DECA Advisor at Leto High School shares her #volstory!

National Volunteer Month

Tiffany Adams

Senior

Leto High School

Hi!  I’m Tiffany Adams a senior at Leto High School!

Thank you Bank of America for investing in the youth of our community through Junior Achievement.  You have had a presence in my life starting back in 5th grade through my participation at JA BizTown and for the past two years through the Junior Achievement Entrepreneurial Academy.

The volunteers from Bank of America gave me inspiration by sharing their personal stories of their paths to success, giving students insights to all the various jobs that are available to them and for taking high school students business ideas seriously enough to take the time to listen and give feedback to us.  By having this opportunity and “deadlines”, it helped us to focus more on the process thus increasing our understanding of how businesses operate, helping us to learn to work as a team, helping us to problem solve and think innovatively. The experience also pointed out to me that even with the best laid plans sometimes don’t work out causing you to need to pivot and persevere to overcome obstacles. It happens in business and in life!

Through the program, we had job sites visits so we could see firsthand how businesses operate.   For me I enjoyed going to Nielsen’s where I had a chance to see the various ways that company’s use technology which is something I would like to do in

Junior Achievement also gave me an opportunity to do mock interviews with Publix which resulted in me getting a job there.  So I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Junior Achievement volunteers who gave me this opportunity.  You have made a difference in my life as well as many others by providing us with real life experiences that help us shape our professional and personal futures.

Read More!

National Volunteer Month

Karla Newan

Area HR Manager

IBERIABANK

How many years have you been volunteering for JA?

At least 10 years

In what capacity?

I’ve been a classroom volunteer, board member (2019-2020) and corporate liaison (Florida Bank).

How did you first become involved with Junior Achievement?

About 10 years ago my former company was looking for volunteers so I signed up.  I have been able to introduce JA to two other companies since that time.

Why do you volunteer for Junior Achievement?

I enjoy working with children and teaching about financial literacy as well as giving back to my community!

What programs?

I have facilitaed the JA Financial Literacy curriculum in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades as well as a High School program.  I also volunteered at the Inspire Job Fair in Pinellas County and Enterprise Village & JA Biz Town.

Why do you think it’s important to teach children about work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship?

To add some additional awareness to how money is earned, spent and saved for their future.  Also we talk about entrepreneurship and how they can find a career they will love!

 

Read More!

National Volunteer Month

Bob Perini

Manager, Data Center Services

PSCU

How many years have you been volunteering for JA?

Just over 20 years; 14 of them at Northeast High School’s Academy of Finance.

In what capacity?

Classroom volunteer.

How did you first become involved with Junior Achievement?

My first experience was at the Great American Teach-in with Kindergarten students.

Why do you volunteer for Junior Achievement?

I love working with kids.  They are our future and I think I can help them look at things with a different mindset.

What programs?

I’ve presented Career Success Skills and its predecessor for the past 14 years.

Why do you think it’s important to teach children about work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship? 

Many of these subjects are not taught in the current academic curriculum and offer the students an opportunity to learn from experienced business people with real-life knowledge which will help them relate.

 

Read More!

National Volunteer Month 

Greg Balsamello

Greg Balsamello, who works for RE/MAX recently began volunteering with Junior Achievement. He shares his volunteer story!

National Volunteer Month

Kristen Laramore

COMMUNICATIONS EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH

CITI

How many years have you been volunteering for JA?

6 years altogether; 2 years in Texas and 4 years in Florida.

In what capacity?

Classroom volunteer, board member, corporate liaison, school liaison coordinator.

How did you first become involved with Junior Achievement?

A former employer in Texas introduced me to Junior Achievement. This was the first company I had worked for that strongly encouraged their staff to volunteer in their communities. Leadership led by example which was inspirational to me. I have been volunteering ever since!

Why do you volunteer for Junior Achievement?

Financial education is important for every individual, regardless of their demographic. JA provides relevant programs for both primary- and secondary-age students that are EASY to teach. Training, materials and classroom coordination are all provided by JA. As a volunteer, you only need to give your time.

What programs?

Our Families; Our Community; Diploma-See; Personal Finance; Biz Town; Finance Park.

Why do you think it’s important to teach children about work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship? 

All of these factors can be intertwined. People tend to focus on income as the one solution to all financial situations. JA brings to light additional factors that can impact an individual’s financial security. For example: What types of careers require higher education? What are average salaries for these careers? What is the true cost of living besides lodging, transportation and food? What is the difference between a NEED and a WANT? JA provides realistic, fundamental programming to shape, inspire and support children who may not otherwise have the exposure to this knowledge.

 

Read More!

National Volunteer Month

Rick Coleman

Retired

How many years have you been volunteering for JA?

I have volunteered with JA for eight years; both semesters each year, teaching two or three classes each semester.

How did you first become involved with Junior Achievement?

When I retired, I contacted Carla Prescott at JA Tampa Bay and she set me up as a volunteer for the High School Personal Finance program.

Why do you volunteer for Junior Achievement?

I like working with students, and I strongly believe in the importance of learning basic life skills, which are not routinely taught in the public schools.

What programs?

I have taught the JA Personal Finance curriculum at Gaither, Sickles, and Steinbrenner High School and Rampelo and Martinez Junior High; and led the Entrepreneurial Leadership program for two years at Brooks-Debartolo. I will also be the JA coordinator for McKitrick Elementary beginning fall 2020.

Why do you think it’s important to teach children about work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship?

Because it has traditionally been omitted from the curriculum of the secondary school system, and the basic concepts are applicable to every individual.

What benefits do you see for the students having a JA Volunteer come into their classroom? How do you know you are making an impact on the students?  

I believe students gain a different perspective and teaching style other than their regular teacher; they get a different perspective coming from a business background.  I know it is making an impact when they show interest and ask questions.

Any fun JA volunteer stories that you have to share about volunteering for Junior Achievement?

I am still amazed how awestruck most students are when they learn how much money they will earn over their career, and the power of compounding.

What are the rewards of volunteering for Junior Achievement? Your favorite part?

The most rewarding and favorite part of volunteering with JA is the interaction with the students.

National Volunteer Month – Nolan

Nolan is a 5th grader from Chiles Elementary School in Tampa, Florida, shares his JA Volunteer story. Nolan attended JA BizTown earlier in the school year, and his experience was made possible by our JA Volunteers!

National Volunteer Month

Bob Conigliaro

VP Community Relations – Caspers Company McDonald’s Restaurants

How many years have you been volunteering for JA?

I have been involved with Junior Achievement since the inception of Enterprise Village at the Gus Stavros Center in Pinellas County in 1988.

In what capacity?

I’ve been a classroom volunteer, board member, corporate liaison, school liaison coordinator. I’ve been involved in many capacities as a classroom volunteer, guest speaker, event emcee, corporate liaison and parent volunteer when my kids were 5th graders 21 to 25 years ago. One of our owners, Allison Casper Adams is a board member.

How did you first become involved with Junior Achievement?

When the McDonald’s operators of Pinellas County agreed to sponsor a storefront at Enterprise Village, we were all-in.

Why do you volunteer for Junior Achievement?

Junior Achievement is golden. They introduce and educate students about the importance and significance of the free enterprise system that is backbone of the greatest country and economic system in the world.

Read More!

National Volunteer Month – Nyona Brown

Nyona Brown from Jefferson High School in Tampa, Florida, shares her JA Volunteer story. Nyona was impacted by Mr. Jeremy Blount during her time with Junior Achievement.

March 2020

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s response to the COVID-19 virus

Last Updated: 3/31/20

Following  The State Department of Education, and local school districts, Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay will continue to postpone physical programming until May 1. Our virtual learning resources still remain accessible for students, parents, volunteers and teachers.

Read More!

Junior Achievement Hall of Fame 2020 postponed until further notice

Junior Achievement Hall of Fame 2020 postponed until further notice

In light of President Trump’s address to the nation this evening, and protocol and advice from the CDC and health officials, we regret to inform you that Junior Achievement Hall of Fame 2020, due to take place on Thursday, 12th March 2020, is postponed until further notice.

We fully appreciate your support of Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, and do not take the decision to postpone the event lightly. However, due to the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the event for the safety of our attendees.

Read More!

JA Tampa Bay Health and Safety Update

Last updated: 3-10-2020

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s primary focus is keeping our students and volunteers safe, healthy and able to enjoy their visit to our campus. To do so, we are working closely with Hillsborough and Pinellas County Schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With both school districts consistently monitoring the situation, we are continually in communication with the necessary authorities to ensure our students, volunteers, and staff are safe and healthy.

Read More!

February 2020

JA | ACE welcomes first class to the

Academy for Collaborative Entrepreneurship at Embarc Collective

JA Tampa Bay holds inaugural class for their new entrepreneurship program in downtown Tampa

2020 will be a year of firsts and landmarks for Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, as the organization driven to see young students succeed in the workplace continues to evolve. One such first is the inaugural class at JA ACE (Academy for Collaborative Entrepreneurship) at Embarc Collective – the new tech startup innovation hub located in downtown Tampa.

Read More!

JA holds Job Shadow experience for students across Tampa Bay

JA Tampa Bay partnered with local companies and organizations, bringing career insights to high school students

JA Tampa Bay has teamed up with local high schools and companies to help bring job shadow experience to students. The valuable and experiential opportunity, which began in January and ends later this month, predominantly consists of students who are involved with the Academy of Finance program. In total, there will be eight days of job shadowing at eight different companies and organizations – these include; PwC, ReliaQuest, Raymond James, AT&T, Grow Financial, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Suncoast Credit Union, and USF Federal Credit Union. Students from Brandon, Chamberlain, Jefferson, Armwood, Leto and Steinbrenner high schools will participate in the program.

Read More!

Aspire Financial Services CEO Peter Kirtland joins

JA Tampa Bay Board of Directors

Kirtland’s wealth of experience in the financial services industry bolsters JA Tampa Bay’s shared vision of financial literacy

Pete Kirtland is the latest member of Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s Board of Directors. The Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay Board is composed of local community leaders with a strong and balanced blend of skills and experience, providing guidance and support to Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s staff and volunteers as we strive to uphold our mission.

Read More!

JA Inspire Career Expo Introduces Hundreds of Students to New Career Opportunities

JA Tampa Bay held their third JA Inspire Career Expo in an event that exposes middle school students to a variety of professions, careers and industries.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay held their third JA Inspire Career Expo this week, introducing hundreds of young students to new career opportunities and pathways. The all-day event, held at Pinellas Technical College, is a community effort of Junior Achievement, Pinellas County Schools, local businesses, and educators to help shape students’ positive attitudes about their academic or professional futures.

Read More!

Silicon Valley Bank and ReliaQuest Partner for #TechGivesBack Day at JA Tampa Bay

SVB Vice President A.J. Fang and ReliaQuest CFO Gregory Farrell head up a volunteer day at JA BizTown

JA Tampa Bay welcomed Silicon Valley Bank Vice President A.J. Fang and ReliaQuest Chief Financial Officer Gregory Farrell to JA BizTown this week. The two companies partnered together in a joint volunteer day, which saw 20 volunteers help 5th graders run the various storefronts at JA BizTown, provide insight into what it takes to run a bustling economy, and offer support for the next generation of Tampa Bay’s workforce.

Read More!