Volunteer Spotlight | Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York

Volunteer Spotlight


Our Volunteer Spotlight feature puts our amazing volunteers front and center in the JA of Central Upstate New York Community! We want to use this unique opportunity to thank the wonderful individuals that continuously donate their time and energy to help JA's mission thrive! 

 Meet Maria Kast our spotlighted volunteer of the month. Find out what she has to say about her JA experience!

Maria Kast
CORE Leadership Development


What inspired you to volunteer for JA?

"I was inspired to volunteer at JA. after attending the Hall of Fame event, and meeting the High School students who presented at the event.  When they shared their experience with the JA. curriculum and its positive impact on them, it motivated me to get further involved."

What is your favorite JA event and/or story?

"There are so many stories that I can share that most impacted me, it's hard to choose just one.  While delivering the JA curriculum at an RCSD middle school at first the students seemed so disengaged, but as the weeks went on we began to connect, their enthusiasm grew and by the time it was over the students didn't want me to leave, or the teachings to end.  It is so humbling to know that I can use a tool like Junior Achievement's curriculum to inspire kids to think beyond their current circumstances."

What keeps you involved?

"Initially, I only planned to volunteer in the classrooms.  However, as I got to know the employees of JA, the mission of the organization and the many events they bring into our schools I couldn't help but become more deeply involved."









Check out Past JA Volunteer Spotlights
Matthew Wagstaff
Ron Norris
Dr. Allen Vaala
Bonita Morgan
Kristin Short


Virtual JA Entrepreneurial Youth Summit

Wednesday, January 27, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

For many years, small business has been the job-creating engine that has driven the U.S. economy. However, with the COVID-19 shutdown, it appears that 57% of small businesses (66% of minority-owned) may permanently close. 

If the rate of small business failures reaches a historical level, it will be critical that those considering entrepreneurship at all ages is engaged and that those individuals be provided with as many tools and resources as possible to help reduce the chances of failure due to inexperience.

The Virtual JA Entrepreneurial Youth Summit will help students draw on their skills and creativity,unlock their entrepreneurial potential and plant the seeds for future entrepreneurial thinking

We encourage you to consider students who would benefit from attending the Virtual JA Entrepreneurial Youth Summit. Students will be expected to receive key learning concepts through video assets and self-guided lessons (provided). Students can compete as an individual or on a team (4 students max per team). Individuals and teams will present their business idea at the PITCH COMPETITION and the winners will be determined at the event.

Sign up today below!  



Community Partners
Questions?  Contact Cati Pulver at Junior Achievement via e-mail Catherine.Pulver@ja.org

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Junior Achievement
of Central Upstate New York

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