Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Burke

Katie Burke, JA Girl$

Today’s spotlight shines a light on Katie Burke, financial planner at Mary Carter Financial Services and JA Girl$ volunteer.

Why did you initially become involved with JA Girl$?

Lisa O’Neill, JA Board of Directors Committee Chair, introduced me to the JA Girl$ program and I began volunteering in 2011. After reading the JA Girl$ vision, I knew this would be a perfect fit.

Since high school graduation I have witnessed numerous instances where both young adults and adults could not manage their money. As a result I’ve become an advocate for the business program at my high school alma mater.

When was the last time you volunteered for JA Girl$? At what school?

The last time I volunteered for JA Girl$ was June 2012 at the Jewish Family and Community Services. During those two sessions we were responsible for the financial literacy component of Building Bridges 8-week life skills curriculum.

What is your most memorable volunteer moment?

When one of the girls thanked me for encouraging her to reach beyond her comfort zone to achieve her dream –prior to the sessions she thought it was unattainable.

The young lady told me that after each session she felt more and more confident and felt she could now “be” something.

I found her honesty both heartbreaking and rewarding. Rewarding because I knew JA Girl$ had given this young lady the confidence needed to achieve so much more.

What would you say to women who are curious about volunteering for JA Girl$?

The JA Girl$ initiative is powerful! If you’re curious, shadow one or two sessions. Help make a difference and inspire young girls.

As a financial planner, is there anything you’d like to say to today’s youth regarding preparation for their future?

As far-fetched as it may seem, especially right now, anything is possible. Don’t be afraid to ask the “what if” questions. Step outside of your comfort zone to reach for your dream, ask for guidance and ask an adult to be your mentor. You just might be surprised how many adults are willing to help you get to the next level.

Adults/ School Administrators:
Regardless of a student’s educational focus, finance is part of everyones’ life, and we should all have the opportunity to learn the basics.

Any final words?

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” Beverly Sills


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