Northwest Ohio youth develop important life skills through Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement of Northwestern Ohio believes no child is too young to start learning skills to be successful financially. That’s why, each year, the organization sends more than 1,000 volunteers to more than 100 schools throughout the region to teach students the fundamentals of business and economics.
“These are the foundation for personal success,” says Jim Pollock, president of Junior Achievement of Northwestern Ohio. “Financial literacy and entrepreneurship are not in the basic curriculum of many schools, so we’re filling a gap that needs to be addressed.”
Volunteer teachers share their experience and knowledge with students at every grade level from kindergarten to 12th grade.
“There are lessons that can be taught to kids of all ages,” Pollock says. “In kindergarten or first grade, we might deliver a lesson on understanding the difference between needs and wants. In high school, we might teach a class on how to create a budget.”
To inspire entrepreneurship, Junior Achievement teaches students the basics of what it takes to start a business and introduces them to different career paths. Volunteers also teach essential, but often overlooked, job skills.
“Those would be soft skills, emotional intelligence, and interviewing techniques,” Pollock says. “Anything they would need to enter the workforce.”
Based in suburban Toledo, Junior Achievement covers a 12-county area in Northwest Ohio, from the Indiana border east to Sandusky, south to Findlay, and north to Bedford Township in Michigan. It is one of 107 area offices within the nationwide network of Junior Achievement USA, which reaches nearly 5 million students in 212,000 classrooms.
A helping hand
Junior Achievement relies almost entirely on volunteers. It also depends on corporate support. Huntington is one of Junior Achievements largest supporters in the region and encourages others to offer their services and expertise to the organization and, in turn, to the area’s youth.
“Huntington is a significant partner for us, both in terms of financial support and volunteering,” Pollock says. “They have expertise in the business and finance industries, and they’re recognized for having strong ties to community outreach efforts. They’ve also been a brand champion for us, telling our story to people throughout the area.”