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March Volunteer Hero


“All the kids love when I wear this tie,” Wayne Allen explained to me when he arrived at JA’s headquarters to receive his volunteer of the month award. The tie, covered in monopoly money, seems fitting for the IT professional who, for nearly twenty years, has been teaching students about financial literacy through Junior Achievement’s in-school programs.

“One of my most memorable experiences would have to be when a high school senior, who was volunteering at the elementary school where I was instructing, came up to me and shared how much she had enjoyed and remembered from the sessions I presented to her class when she was in 4th grade.”

Wayne’s first volunteer assignment was in March of 1996 when his oldest daughter’s elementary school encouraged parents to volunteer. 19 years later, he still enjoys his time in the classroom, helping students gain financial literacy skills.

“Learning how to address students on the subject of financial literacy has benefited me in understanding how to approach other subjects, whether personal or professional, to people of all ages.” Wayne explained.

Wayne’s employer, MasterCard, is also a big supporter of JA, participating in the JA Bowl-A-Thon and holding an annual JA in a Day event with more than 400 employee volunteers participating.  

“It was amazing to see so many at MasterCard enjoy presenting the JA material as much as I do,” Wayne said, recalling the last JA in a Day he participated in with MasterCard.

When I asked him what we would tell someone thinking about getting involved with Junior Achievement, Wayne was quick to reply. “Don’t wait any longer,” he said. “If you have school age children, find out if their teacher would be interested in having the JA program presented in their class. You will have lots of fun and will impact the financial understanding of the children for their lifetime.”

“Agreeing to sacrifice a few hours of my time back in 1996 has led me to years of enjoying the opportunities to share the knowledge about handling money.” 

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