We chatted with Patricia Williams, an alumna of Junior Achievement of New York. Here’s what she told us about her experiences and how they shaped who she is today:
I began with Junior Achievement of New York in elementary school and continued as a representative of my junior high school to participate in JA’s Job Shadow program, a program that thrives today.
I am a living example of the power of early experiences facilitated by Junior Achievement to shape not only one’s career, but one’s life. Remarkable as it seems, I dove right into the corporate world at the young age of 12 years old. Two to three times a week, I navigated my way through the city via public transit to “shadow” real-life corporate staff. I relied on my intelligence, self-discipline, and resourcefulness to negotiate my way through my first JA Job Shadow opportunity with Junior Achievement of New York.
I still remember my first skill: filing hard copy documents for a downtown corporation. Working in a corporate office as a file clerk preceded the advent of today’s computer age. I was delighted to have the opportunity to get the experiences made possible by JA New York. As a young teen, despite the pressure I felt as the only African American in the office, I was inspired.
Who would think that filing documents manually would seed my invaluable organizational skills that would serve me so well in many professional positions throughout my career?
Guided along the way by mentors and volunteers from JA along with the support of my mother and grandmother, my self-confidence kept me on course. Eager and well-prepared, I went on to college, graduate school and a Juris Doctor degree program. I have three children and enjoy a fulfilling, multi-faceted career. I firmly believe that my experiences with JA played a major role in setting goals and achieving successful accomplishments.
I have always felt these experiences through the JA programs enhanced my ability to be self-sufficient and raise my three children who would each grow up to become entrepreneurs. You can dream forever, but you have to have concrete plans to achieve those dreams. Junior Achievement inspired me to pursue my dreams and turn them into reality.
Copyright P. Williams, 2019. All rights reserved.