This spring I was fortunate to discover that JA for a Day can change your outlook on life forever. In particular, Junior Achievement confirmed my desire to work with children and inspire them to fight for their dreams and to love school.
However, when I signed up for Junior Achievement in a day, a service learning program in which you have the opportunity to teach children concepts and topics they aren’t familiar with, I didn’t know what to expect. In particular, I believed that I would make a fool out of myself and that children would think I was awkward because to them I was a boring adult. However, those thoughts were just useless fears. In fact, I told myself that all I needed to do was connect with my inner child and that way they’d appreciate me.
Indeed, after three weeks of training and preparing with other school mates, I was prepared to spend a day with the children. The class they assigned me and my group partner was a first grade class, a word that can sound fearful to anyone who starts a first teaching experience.
However, as soon as I was in front of the classroom, I beamed and my heart was filled with joy at the presence of such fantastic six-year olds who thought I was a teacher and who wanted to hear what I had to say. In particular, there was one little girl who always requested my attention and at the end of the day, when she hugged me goodbye I knew she was happy I taught her something new. That experience made me feel as if I was not only a mentor, but also a proud older sister.
Service learning changed my life because it allowed me to discover that I always want to work with children in the future, and in particular that I want to inspire them to become leaders, teachers, doctors, writers and anything they want to be.
If I had to encourage anyone to participate in service learning, I’d tell them that this volunteering opportunity allows you to make a difference in children’s lives and if you love children or teenagers, this program will help you inspire them.
Faculty: Mandy Fraley and Bridget Ofori
Service Opportunity with Junior Achievement and PS206