18-Year JA Volunteer Goes Above and Beyond

When it comes to identifying an outstanding JA volunteer, Sarah Reece, Programmer Analyst III at Orlando Health, might just fit the bill. Junior Achievement of Central Florida recently presented Sarah with an Above and Beyond Award and in 2000, they recognized her as the Junior Achievement Elementary Education Volunteer of the Year. Deborah Morris, senior vice president and acting president of JA of Central Florida, shared Sarah's experience.

Being recognized as a volunteer is always appreciated, but Sarah finds that working with children is the ultimate reward. She started volunteering with JA in 1995 and has taught every JA program in elementary and middle school. Her first JA class was JA Our Community at Orange Center Elementary School in Orlando, where one of her most memorable lessons was about making doughnuts in a factory. The purpose was to teach students the difference between unit and assembly line manufacturing.

"I'll never forget the teacher decided to have the students make real doughnuts--and brought in her doughnut-maker," recalls Sarah. "The students received a lesson and a treat!"

Sometimes teachers specifically request Sarah to volunteer in their classrooms. Educator Krista Svejda, for instance, has invited Sarah into her classroom to teach JA each year since she became a teacher.

"It's always nice to have a teacher request to have you as their JA volunteer," says Sarah. "It validates that you have done a good job in teaching the subject at the level the student understands. It always surprises me how much the students remember what I teach week to week. It makes me feel like I have contributed in a positive way to their learning and growth as individuals."

Sarah is committed to continue her work with Junior Achievement by inspiring the young people she encounters to succeed.

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