National Volunteer Month – Karla Newan

Area HR Manager


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!

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? 

JA offers hands on training for students of all ages to learn more about money, career, life experience and their future!  I know I make an impact when students are excited to go home and show their family what they learned!

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

This is a hard one as I have many stories.  One of my favorite was when I was teaching 3rd graders and I had one student who did not want to participate (sat with head on his desk).  Once I asked him to help me pass things out he lit up!  He really enjoyed the session and thanked me with a big hug!

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

There are several rewards in volunteering for JA but the one I like the most is seeing the children have fun learning about finances!

What kind of rewards do you see for your company by allowing their employees to volunteer for Junior Achievement? What do your employees say about volunteering for Junior Achievement?

Since I work for a bank we not only get personal reward for volunteering but we also get CRA credit.  My fellow employee love their time volunteering.


I was raised in St Petersburg, Florida and attended college at SPJC and USF.   My Human Resources career started 33 years ago.  I am married with 2 grown sons and 2 loving dogs!  I serve on the Tampa Bay JA Board.  I also serve on a local ski club board for over 10 years (TBSS&B).  My hobbies are paddle-boarding, volunteering, family and skiing (snow skiing that is). I have skied both domestically (Big Sky, Vail, Steamboat, etc.) and internationally (Japan, France, Italy, Banff to name a few).