Staff | Junior Achievement of Abilene

Junior Achievement of Abilene LEADERSHIP

Sarah Franz

Sarah Franz – Executive Director

Growing up, I wanted to be an … astronaut.
If I owned a business, it would be … a fine paper goods store. I'm addicted to pretty paper, planners, notebooks and cards!
My favorite quote is … "Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." Julia Child
When I'm not at work, I … am spending time with friends and family, working on a new craft, or curled up on my couch reading a good book and drinking coffee. I also like to travel and use my vacation time to check off places on my travel bucket list!
What I remember most about elementary school is ... art class and my inspiring art teacher who helped develop my creative side from a young age.
If I could have any job for one day, I would want to be … a party planner! I love to coordinate themed parties for friends and family.
I love working at JA because … our volunteers pass on the tools to help children become successful adults. It's amazing to think how our students can one day positively influence our community by using their foundation in economic skills and the lasting memory of a mentor!
Learn more about Sarah …
Originally from Pennsylvania, Sarah moved to Abilene in early 2013 and pursued a career in nonprofit service. Prior to her move, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Urban and Environmental Studies from Temple University (Philadelphia). Her passion lies with tackling social justice issues, particularly in the areas of workforce development, financial literacy, and economic development. Sarah began her career with Junior Achievement in January 2016.
Sarah enjoys spending time with her parents and younger brother who now live in Weatherford, Texas. She is an active member at Hillcrest Church of Christ with her boyfriend John. 

Erin Palmer

Erin Palmer – Education Manager

Growing up, I wanted to be a … teacher or pet shop owner. 

If I owned a business, it would be … well, I do already own a photography business. If I could choose to own any other business, it would probably be an interior decorating business. 

My favorite quote is … My favorite quotes come from two of the most prolific writers - Dr. Suess and Winnie the Pooh. We can stand to learn a lot from them. But I think one of my most favorites is from Dr. Suess, "Because when you stop to and look around, this life is pretty amazing."

When I'm not at work, I'm … spending time with my three children and my husband. We are often at the baseball field or volleyball gym, at the movies, playground, or hanging out with our good friends. 

What I remember most about elementary school is ... my teachers. A teacher's impact reaches far beyond one year in the classroom. 

If I could have any job for one day, I would want to be … a producer on the Ellen show! I think I would never ever stop laughing. It would be wonderful! 

I love working at JA because … I'm new here! But, I'm so eager to help students around the Big Country see the importance of job readiness, investing in your community, financial literacy, and more at a young age. I can't imagine where I would be today if I had had these resources at their age. JA is doing wonderful things in our community. 


Learn more about Erin …

Erin spent her young childhood in Granbury, Texas but moved to Abilene at the age of 11 where she attended Lincoln Middle School. Once graduated from Abilene High School, she attended Texas Tech University where she majored in Human Development and Family Studies. Married in 2002, Erin & her husband, Tim, soon moved back to Abilene to be near family. Erin worked in a non-profit with foster children for a few years until they had their first child, Aubrey. Eli was born 3 years later. At this point, she began a photography business so she would be able to work from home. E. Lindsey Photography has now been around since 2010. In 2015, their youngest son, Quinn was born. Their children have attended Austin Elementary and Aubrey now attends Mann Middle School where her father also teaches Theatre Arts. 

Erin enjoys most all music (except maybe scream-o), a Starbucks Chai latte, loves a West Texas sunset, and a beach view. She loves Abilene and its people. You'll find her at Target most any day there are a few extra dollars in her pocket. And spending quality time with her family is her most favorite thing! 

Erin sees the importance of the public school system, teachers, and early intervention daily. She sees her opportunity to work for JA as a big responsibility and is eager to invest in her community in a new way. 

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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