A Volunteer Experience: Janelle Connor
Walking into Lockview this morning brought in a flood of memories from my High School experience. It seems like only yesterday I was awkwardly wearing last night's pajama pants, oversized sport t-shirts and still feeling tired on 12-14 hours’ sleep. Beginning my High School journey as a young and impressionable Grade 9 student was a time of self-discovery and growth (even though I was convinced I already knew everything about the world). You know what they say, "You don't know what you don't know", which couldn't be more true for my 14 year old self.
I choose to volunteer with Junior Achievement because I wanted to help these students effectively build habits that will enable them to reach their goals, create a budget that will prepare them for the financial reality of post-secondary life and understand the opportunity costs of not furthering their education after High School. Unfortunately, when I was in Grade 9, these topics were foreign to me. I knew more about Trigonometry than how to create a budget and manage cash flow. Somehow I managed to survive the years following graduation as I transitioned into an adult, however, there was a lot of confusion and stumbling along the way. Junior Achievement is an opportunity to fill that gap in learning and provide students with skills they can apply to their life....starting today.
For those who are not aware, Junior Achievement is a not-for-profit organization used to inspire and prepare youth to succeed by providing opportunities to learn financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills with their engaging programs. This morning, I completed their Economics for Success program, which is designed to help students stay in school and develop strategies to plan for future successes. During our morning together we shared a lot of great moments. As I was going through the budgeting calculator activity, I overheard students saying things like, "I should really start saving NOW", and, "I can't believe my parents pay this much for stuff!". I loved hearing these things because I could tell the wheels were turning, and these students were starting to think independently about their finances.
I feel like JA does a great job at putting together a program to create a lasting impression. I am confident this will translate into MANY interesting conversations tonight during dinner with their parents!
Janelle Connor, JA Volunteer
Banking Advisor, RBC Royal Bank, Cole Harbour