All posts tagged: Hannah Henry

The Payoff Behind Time Management

How to build a necessary life-skill

Author: Hannah Henry

Panic rushes over you. You’re late. The alarm didn’t go off, and now you’re scrambling to start your day. As you nearly drip toothpaste down your shirt, you can’t help but wonder, “how did I let this happen?!”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines time-management as “the practice of using the time that you have available in a useful and effective way….” But where do these skills begin? And what is the real benefit?

Basics of Time Management 

From the start of life, we learn how to prioritize daily events. From waking up to dinner time to bedtime, we become accustomed to routines. Time management, or what some may say “personal management,” follows the same guidelines, only we adjust our day to fit the non-routine elements better. While this soft skill benefits children of all ages in their learning, it has the long-term impact of benefiting them once they are in the workforce.

Understanding the basics behind managing time can reduce stress, increase performance, and all-around enhance work-life balance. Here are the steps to help manage the time in your day better:

  1. Prioritize
    Start your day off with making a list, identifying which items need to be done first and which tasks take a lower priority.
  2. Organize
    If a big project can’t be accomplished in a day, be sure to set deadlines for more bite-sized pieces to ensure success. A great way to do this is by identifying the components needed for the project and then spreading them out on your calendar to be accomplished along the way.
  3. Reduce Distractions
    Eliminating all distractions is unrealistic. We will always face a phone ringing, an email landing in our inbox, or the unexpected colleague drop-in, but being able to resume work promptly or putting a non-urgent call or email on the backburner is key.
  4. Eliminate Multitasking
    We live in a world where we are trained to jump back and forth between homework assignments or work projects. In our minds, it’s the performance idiom we all know, “kill two birds with one stone.” Yet, when we split our attention, our work tends to suffer. In fact, psychology professor David Meyer, PhD, found that even quick shifts between tasks can cause someone to lose as much as 40% of productive time.
  5. Take Breaks
    Giving your mind a break helps replenish your energy and focus, but only after you have finished a task. Before continuing your to-do list, be sure to get up from your desk for a short time to stretch and refresh your mind.
  6. Reward Yourself
    By managing your time better, you will face opportunity costs. These costs are things that you could have done instead of spending your time on the prioritized tasks you identified. Not to mention, high productivity can be exhausting! Be sure to disconnect from work when your workday is done and participate in a hobby or activity you enjoy. You’ve earned it!

The Payoff for Employees and Employers 

While some may depend on procrastination to give them the willpower they need to meet deadlines, this method rarely results in high-quality work. Employers know the value of an employee with the soft skill of time management and what it means for their team and company. Employees who possess and practice better control of their time often excel in many aspects, including:

  1. Ability to work under pressure of deadlines
  2. Dependability on projects and in meetings
  3. Organization skills in all areas of work

But the payoff doesn’t stop with employers; research from 158 studies of 50,000 people over the past 30 years found 72% of people had greater life satisfaction when they could structure and manage their time. Researchers believe this is due to the sense of self-accomplishment after completing their schedules day-to-day around tasks that align with their internal motivators (values and beliefs).

The proof is in the time stamp when it comes to managing the hours in your day wisely. Not only does it pay off to learn these skills young and perfect them in school, but they also transfer into your value in the workforce and personal fulfillment.

The Payoff Behind Time Management
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Job Vacancies Reaching An All-Time High & What It Means For Teens

Author: Hannah Henry
Junior Achievement USA

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the last business day of March 2021 brought a record high of 8.1 million job openings in the United States. Among those hiring, industries including accommodation and food services, state and local government education, arts, entertainment, and recreation experiences experienced the most significant workers’ demand. Of those industries, some of the hardest-hit companies were small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Business survey reported  42% of small businesses had job openings they could not fill in the month of March. With all of the job vacancies, who has the opportunity to benefit the most?

Businesses seeking workers are finding high school teens are more than willing to fill the large job openings. A new survey of teens conducted for Junior Achievement found two-thirds of 16- and 17-year-olds (68%) plan to work this summer. Their “plan to work” is paying off as an ongoing report conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a shockingly high increase of 16-to-19-year-olds filling job vacancies, the highest it’s been for this age group since 2008 at a surprising 32.8%. In April alone, 256,000 of these teens gained employment.

During the same time teens have been motivated to find a job, companies have been trying to interest workers through increased pay rates and hiring bonuses. Ultimately, both parties will mutually benefit from the supply of able teens and businesses’ demand of workers.

A Triple Payoff for Teens: Money, Work Experience, and Soft Skills

While the endless job openings provide teens with work experience and an income through their hard-earned paychecks, teens and businesses are cashing in on much more. Deemed as an essential skill set for future work, the development of soft skills may prove to be the most valuable offering of all for teens.

Through vital adjustments businesses have made to survive during the global pandemic, their focus on what skills are “ideal” or “necessary” in a new hire may have adapted. Transferable skills, like soft skills, are making it easier for those with workforce experience to prove their value across multiple job functions and perhaps industries. A 2020 study on skills employers look for conducted by Zety revealed hard skills ranked 39% in importance to employers while soft skills came in at 61%.

In the past, teens may have been overlooked due to their lack of work experience on their resumes. Yet, today, their motivation to work after a tough year and a half is providing them with endless professional opportunities that never existed before. As teen job applications come flooding in, businesses across the country are realizing the best chance they have at filling open positions is by hiring inexperienced but eager to work teens. In turn, teens are finding themselves in a unique position to further develop their soft skills all while being paid and trained on the job.

What Teens Can Expect from a Workplace Coming Out of a Pandemic

While these new worker bees won’t experience the pre-pandemic workforce that generations grew up knowing, they will grow accustomed to various benefits that most of us are still adapting to.

A recent Monster Future of Work 2021 Global Outlook Special Report states companies have changed their policies due to the pandemic. Some of the most notable changes being remote work flexibility (43%), adaptable offsite work schedules (40%), updated health policies and protocols (36%), and staff skills training (34%). Of all these changes, 46% of hiring managers globally expect for these changes to become permanent. Without previous exposure to the pre-pandemic work environment, will teens adapt easier than those who have become accustomed to a specific traditional professional environment? Stay tuned.

Job Vacancies Reaching An All-Time High & What It Means For Teens
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Buying Local in a Buzzing Economy

By Hannah Henry, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Brand
Junior Achievement USA

How many times have you heard “Buy Local” or “Support Local Businesses”? Probably hundreds of times. So why this “local” push? What does it do for you or your community? With summer here, the concept of buying locally will only increase, specifically about your local farmers’ markets. While providing you with delicious produce, farmers markets potentially have a more significant impact on the community than it does just in your fridge.

First off, let’s explore some fun facts:

  • Did you know that foods in the U.S. travel an average of 1,500 miles just to get onto your plate? Besides providing community perks, farmers markets cut down on the pollution due to these extensive trips.
  • The growers that you meet at farmers markets can also answer all of your questions about what products they have, where they came from, and how they were grown or raised.
  • People who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions compared to 1-2 per visit if they went to the grocery store! Talk about getting connected in your community!
  • The USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service began tracking the farmers market activity in 1994. Since then, the markets in the United States have grown to 8,720, which is a little over 7% from 2013 alone.
  • The total annual sales from U.S. farmers markets are valued at about $1 billion!

What are Farmers Markets

To start let’s define what farmers markets really are. In essence, these local markets include farmers who live in nearby towns who bring their fresh produce and more to an open space, most likely an open parking lot, for community members to purchase. Believe it or not, the USDA has actual state rules and operating guidelines that farmers have to follow in order to be eligible to sell their vegetables and fruits, which means their locally grown items have been reviewed by similar, if not the same, standards as your grocery store products! In order to participate, the farmer or vendor agrees to pay a fee or percentage of their sales for their booth space.

Inside the Community Economy

Now, let’s jump into the good stuff- the economic impact of farmers markets in your very own communities! To start us off, did you know 89% of farmers surveyed reported sourcing their supplies locally, meaning that what they receive from their communities they are essentially putting back in! This is nearly 2 times the amount of money that is put in compared to wholesale farms, which reported only purchasing 45% of their inputs from their neighbors. To break it down even further, studies conducted by Civic Economics discovered that for every $1.00 we spend at a large grocery store chain, only 15 cents will stay in your local community.

Creating Jobs… Locally

Farmers markets in South Carolina reportedly created between 257-to-361 full-time jobs and generated up to $13 million, by one estimate. Another study from the Sacramento Region in California discovered a job effect of 31.8, which meant for every $1 million of “output” or sales they produce, a total of 31.8 jobs are being created within their community, including on-farm labor and other farm-related positions.

Farmers who are in higher demand by their community members have an opportunity for growth or expansion. By doing so, more “hands-on-deck” during the growing and selling time will be necessary. Through this type of scenario, local community members may find additional work or primary work readily available to them by these farmers.

Ease of Access for Communities

The Farmers Market coalition reported in 2016 that $20.2 million in SNAP benefits (aka food stamps) were spent at local farmers markets. Additionally, over half of the farmers market shoppers (60%) reported that their local market had better prices than they experienced in their grocery stores!

Want to start shopping locally this summer? Click here to find a farmers market nearest you!

Learning the impact of local businesses provides an educational opportunity for youth in your community. Amongst all Junior Achievement’s programs, JA Our Community puts a high focus on helping elementary-school students understand how their community operates, what they can do to contribute, and how their local economy works.

Buying Local in a Buzzing Economy
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Elementary Milestones for Future Success

By Hannah Henry, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Brand
Junior Achievement USA

From Kindergarten to fifth-grade, most children do not have a clear understanding of finances or money in general. What they learn at this stage in life are concepts that will continue to build as they grow older. While at this stage in their lives, they don’t have bills or loans to worry about, it puts their financial future on the horizon and gives them something to think about as they get older.

To put your child ahead of the curve, there are countless ways to introduce every-day transactions and learning-moments! Here are the primary milestones that elementary students are struggling with and ways that you can get your child more confident with outside of the classroom:

Grocery Store

While at the grocery store or any place of business, there are tons of opportunities to show your child the thought process and money concepts you use to make your decisions. Be sure to take a few seconds when you’re deciding between two items to discuss what you are using to determine which product or service is better than the other and why you are choosing a particular one. As you go down an aisle that contains products that are not a necessity but are something you want, discuss the difference between needs and wants. Include how by picking a want you may be sacrificing another product that was also want (or even a need) on your list, explain that this concept is called opportunity cost.

Once your shopping trip has been brought to the register, note that while you know everything has a cost, your child might not. Explain to him or her that all of the products you picked up at the store have a cost as well as taxes that are added to them. The taxes that are included are called sales tax, which states and local governments impose that help pay for schools, roads, police and fire departments. While the concept of taxes goes far deeper than this, it will begin to create the foundation for further growth and understanding in the future. This is also a perfect time to explain to your child what method of payment you are choosing and why. This will get him or her more familiar with money options available in the economy.


Before exposing your child to the concepts or mortgage companies, credit unions, and investment banks, start with the primary institution where money is held, your local bank or even internet banking app. This is the heart of financial literacy as children learn how savings, currency, deposits, and types of money typically start their journey here.

Tell your child what you want to accomplish while you are at the bank and what you will have to do in order to accomplish this goal. When depositing a check, tell your child about the deposit form you fill out and what it will do when it is processed through the system.This is also a great time to set your child up with a savings account; this will teach him or her that it is never too early to start and that by beginning early, they are preparing for their future.


Finally, after the trip to the bank and the grocery store, you’re home. The place where families come together to discuss their day, what they did, learned, and what they are excited for in the future. This is the perfect place for conversations of budgeting/money management and charitable giving goals!

A survey conducted by the American Psychology Association found that 95% of those surveyed believe parents should talk to their children about money, yet only 64% said they were taught to manage money correctly, and 37% responded that they speak with their family members on the subject of money. There lies an area of opportunity for you and your family to come together.

Budgeting is one of the most important pieces when it comes to financial success. Creating a budget, managing the budget, and sticking with the budget. Bring your children into the conversation when you are creating the family budget. If you don’t create one, now would be a great time to start! Include all of the living expenses like home/mortgage, utilities, car costs, insurance, etc. From there examine what is being spent on the non-urgent resources included in your family’s every-day living. By doing this, you’re not only enlightening your child to the real world of the expense of life, but you are also enabling them to start a habit of their budgeting and saving for the future.

If your child receives an allowance, be sure to convey that while their money circulates throughout the world, it is in their hands to determine what to do with it. Are they wanting to spend it, save it, or perhaps give it to a charity? These money decisions should be your child’s as they worked for it. Be sure to provide them with some advice as to what it could go towards long-term versus short-term, or what it could accomplish by assisting an organization that seeks to make changes locally or globally.

With all of these opportunities to share your knowledge of money with your elementary school child, you are not only arming him or her with the knowledge to make better decisions for the future, but you are assisting them to develop on concepts that are crucial to future development.

For a list of resources for your elementary school student, check out Junior Achievement of South Florida’s programs here!

Elementary Milestones for Future Success
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