Junior Achievement of South Florida is honored to have more than 7,000 trained volunteer role models and mentors from the local community to help teach our core principles – entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. These dedicated individuals consist of working and retired business professionals, members of a corporate team, parents, college as well as high school students.
Recently, Monarch High School’s Latinos In Action group volunteered at JA World with the 5th graders from Liberty Elementary who participated at JA BizTown. This is a school that they typically tutor, which is why they came to help them throughout the simulation. Our team then asked their teacher, Christopher Machado, if there was a possibility that these students could come back and help other schools that have a huge need for volunteers. This is how the partnership was formed and has grown extensively in the course of a month.
The group’s mission is “to empower Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness.” It aligns perfectly with JA’s mission of inspiring and preparing youth to succeed in a global economy.
“We are always excited to have large volunteer groups, especially corporate teams, spending a day mentoring students at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion,” said Alexa Diaz, Director of Community Outreach. “But it’s even more special when high school students take the initiative to volunteer. They are our future leaders.”
LIA has volunteered twice in JA BizTown, our engaging, hands on program introducing 5th graders to economic concepts, workplace skills, personal and business finances all in a simulated city built for young students. And, based on their reactions, it will not be the last time they volunteer at JA:
“My experience was fantastic and sensational. I felt great helping the kids getting their tasks done. I would volunteer at JA Biztown anytime.” -Steven Arbelaez, Grade 12
“I had a really fun time meeting the kids and getting to know them, leading them in life was exciting and adventurous.” -Tiffany Melo, Grade 12
“I had a great time at JA BizTown. I loved working with the kids because they were excited to do stuff and show up on ‘TV.’ It was a great experience for me and I made sure to make it a great experience for them as well.” -Angel Delgado, Grade 12
“My experience at JA was amazing and my kids were great! Whenever they needed help, they would come to me and they were really excited about ‘working’ and I made sure they had a good time (one of them gave me chips he was so nice).” -Heyleng Castro, Grade 11
“My experience as a high school volunteer at JA Biztown has been inspirational. I have been lucky to experience this in 5th and 8th grade, and now I get to experience how young children understand the real world. It brings a smile to my face when I see a child able to succeed and I feel very honored to be able to be a part of this wonderful experience.” -Stephanie Vargas, Grade 12
“My experience as a high school student and going to JA BizTown was great! This visit brought me so many memories, I had a good time and I would love to go again and volunteer.” -Michelle Zuniga, Grade 12
Thank you Latinos In Action students from Monarch High School for making a difference in the lives of the students we serve!
CLICK HERE to become a JA volunteer.
ABOUT LATINOS IN ACTION:
Latinos In Action (LIA) offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for Latino students, working from within the educational system to create positive change. Our program operates as a year-long elective course taught by a highly-qualified teacher at the middle school, junior high, and high school level. The end goal of everything we do is to empower Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness. We accomplish this by focusing on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills.
Because of this unique combination, the LIA model has proven effective throughout the United States. Our students go on to successfully complete post-secondary education and earn a livable wage at a higher rate than the national average while continuing to lead and strengthen their communities. In 2015, LIA was awarded the White House Bright Spot for Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Excellence in Hispanic Education.
For more information about Latinos In Action nationwide, visit www.latinosinaction.org.