Junior Achievement Seeking More Shore Volunteers

Junior Achievement Seeking More Shore Volunteers

BERLIN –Budgeting. How to fill out a job application. Entrepreneurship.

All concepts that need to be understood by children growing up in today’s society. And all concepts taught by Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore. The nonprofit organization, with the help of volunteers from the local business community, has been providing lessons in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness to children across the Eastern Shore for decades.

“These lessons are brought to life by business members who volunteer to teach,” said Jayme Hayes, president of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore.

Each year, Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore helps more than 6,500 students in Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset, Dorchester, Talbot and Caroline counties. The organization connects volunteers from the business community with teachers and schools interested in having guests come in and talk to students about things like financial literacy and interview skills. The program has been so successful Junior Achievement needs more community volunteers.

“I have teachers reaching out all the time but I don’t have volunteers to teach the class,” said Heather Dennis, Junior Achievement’s program coordinator in Worcester County.

Hayes said the nonprofit had the resources to offer its various programs but simply needed people willing to donate their time. She stressed that Junior Achievement made it as easy as possible for volunteers, providing them with a guidebook and training.

“For volunteers it’s extremely easy,” she said.

Hayes said volunteers could choose the topic and even grade level that interested them. Those nervous about standing at the front of the class can even teach with a partner if they wish.

Chad Vent, chairman of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore’s advisory board, is also a volunteer with the organization. Since he works at Faw Casson, a local accounting firm, Vent felt that he was in the ideal position to help students learn about finance.

“I thought it was a perfect fit for me,” he said. “I have a lot of real world experience.”

Having now taught lessons to students in a variety of grades, he’s realized how much he enjoys teaching, particularly teaching such an important topic. He says all children should learn the significance of money and spending at an early age.

“It’s a lot more expensive to fix an adult who’s financially illiterate and bankrupt,” Vent said.

Hayes said she has found all of her teaching experiences through Junior Achievement to be rewarding, regardless of the grade level. She still remembers watching as a class of middle school students realized that with interest, a $1 cup of coffee could end up costing them $20 if debt is not addressed immediately.

“Those are the moments you really feel like they’re going to remember that forever,” she said.

Those interested in volunteering with Junior Achievement can contact Dennis at 410-742-8112 or

[email protected].