Although Janice Clark is currently retired, she loves to stay busy — and one of her greatest passions is volunteering with Junior Achievement where her grandchildren go to school, at Brookside Charter. “I love this excellent organization,” Janice says. “I enjoy volunteering for Junior Achievement because the role they play in Kansas City is huge. It’s been around a long time and affected a lot of kids.”
Getting involved in her children’s school has always been important to Janice. In fact, in the early 1990s, Janice first volunteered with Junior Achievement when her own children were in school, attending Pinkerton Elementary.
“I remembered Junior Achievement from when I was in high school myself,” Janice says. “So when my children got in school, I wanted to get involved in teaching them about economics and entrepreneurship.”
Janice had noticed how children in the inner city schools were often overlooked when it came to certain educational opportunities. Determined to shift the tide, Janice made it her mission to become engaged as a school volunteer. “It was my goal to make sure that my kids and all the other kids in school were exposed to economics and learned how to be entrepreneurs so they could have that knowledge.”
After her children grew up and Janice retired, she jumped on the opportunity to volunteer again, this time with her grandchildren. When Janice met the teacher whose classroom she would be working in, they hit it off and enjoyed coordinating Junior Achievement curriculum into the class.
With everything prepared, Janice was ready to re-enter the classroom. “I went in to volunteer for a whole week, an hour per day,” Janice explains. “I was really excited to meet the kids and they were excited to meet me! They really look forward to the Junior Achievement class.”
Because the school semester was nearly over, Janice worried the students would be burnt out, she found the children had a great experience. “They really enjoyed taking time out of their day and experiencing Junior Achievement,” Janice says. “They liked the activities I did and the way everything was set up.”
Through these fun activities, the students learned all about different jobs and career paths they could pursue as adults, with a special focus on communities. They studied zoning laws, city responsibilities and how it all relates to entrepreneurship. Janice watched the children light up right before her eyes. She even witnessed one quiet student come out of her shell and participate by reading flashcards of job descriptions to her classmates.
From experiencing JA herself to volunteering in her children’s classroom and now her grandchildren, JA has always been a family affair. When Janice told her family she would be participating in Junior Achievement again, she was pleasantly surprised when event her niece remembered Janice teaching a JA class in her school! “I had forgotten about that, but she’s 30 now and she remembers that she was in my class!” Janice shares.
Like Janice, you’re building a legacy for students when you give back to Junior Achievement.
As part of Junior Achievement, you power possibility.