Bank of America
's Shannon Coombs volunteers in elementary classrooms each school year, and she generously took some time to answer a few questions about herself for this week's blog entry. Her dedication as a JA volunteer is impressive and we look forward to working with her each year. Find out more about Shannon below!
1. How long have you worked in Maine?
I grew up in Maine and went to college at the University of Maine in Orono and have now worked at Bank of America in Maine for 24 years. I’ve traveled lots, both personal and professionally, along with doing a brief internship in California for a semester of college, but know in my heart that Maine is right where I want to reside.
2. What was your first job?
My first job, outside of the traditional household chores and babysitting, was at McDonald’s in Central Maine where I grew up.
3. What is your favorite JA program, and why?
So far, "JA Our Region"
is my favorite. I love the age group and feel like the 4th graders that I encounter each year through volunteering not only understand the material, but are so creative in their thoughts and ideas, which I really find energizing. Additionally, the subject matter in this program I find to be really empowering for such a young age group and see the light in so many students that they know they have the confidence to be and do whatever they set their mind to. The concepts are all straight forward and that’s the beauty of it. By the time these students are in 4th grade, they have encountered many of the businesses that we discuss from the perspective of a customer, so it’s quite enlightening to them to switch the tables and help them see and appreciate the perspective of the owner.
4. What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two young boys. We’re a pretty active family and enjoy hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, snow shoeing, and skiing. I recently got into running as a way to keep fit and am training for my second half marathon. I am also on the Board of Directors for Belfast Area Child Care Services, Out Town Belfast, and Chair of my boys elementary school Parent Teacher Group.
5. Do you have a memorable story from your time teaching JA that has stuck with you?
One of my favorite classes that I’ve taught through JA was two springs ago. It was a class about the supply chain and just happened to take place the same week that our local grocery store experienced a warehouse fire at their distribution center that caused the shelves of our local store (and stores throughout the state) to look a little empty for the following month. I happened to have a friend who managed distribution at the headquarters for that company and was able to discuss the situation with him. He gave me some really interesting insight about the aftermath of the fire and how it impacted every part of the supply chain. I used these examples during my session, which was well received because it wasn’t just a story or theory, the students could visibly see and relate to the empty shelves at their store. We had so many great discussions during the session and I walked away knowing that not only were those students going to go home and talk about this with their parents, but that they would actually be able to teach their parents something, which is just a great feeling as a child.
Join Shannon in a classroom this school year by visiting our volunteer page!
We love sharing your stories! If you'd like to be featured in a JA Maine blog please contact Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org.