Today’s volunteer spotlight focuses on Wendell Chindra, Financial Solutions Advisor at Merrill Edge/Bank of America. Wendell has been a Junior Achievement volunteer for three years.
Why did you want to become involved with JA?
I have two children of my own, they attend public school (by choice). I believe in service, and believed that JA provided a great opportunity to see local schools first hand. JA provided an “up close and personal” interaction with students in their natural environment. I believe the focus of JA is core to molding a child’s future; it teaches and reinforces qualities that are essential in real life success.
When was the last time you volunteered for JA? Which school and grade level did you teach?
Kings Trail Elementary twice – 5th grade (2012, 2013)
Love Grove Elementary once – 4th grade (2014)
What do you like most about volunteering?
The interaction between the students is amazing. The classroom environment is diverse, cheerful, and adds an element that is “pure.” The children seem almost resilient – undeterred by socio-economic circumstances.
How do the JA lessons impact the students?
They are wowed! The connection between real life experiences and the lessons amazes them, for instance, “My dad owns a mechanic shop so he is an entrepreneur.”
Any stories from your volunteer experience you would like to share?
Every class I have taught is different, but there always seem to have a few kids that amaze me. I asked the kids at Love Grove Elementary about their favorite athlete, and one kid named Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson. This was amazing; a fourth grader highlighting these athletes before the Lebron’s and Kobe’s was shocking and delightful.
Do you want to make a difference in young people’s lives like Wendell? Contact Tiffany Mackey at 904-398-9944 ext.230 or email Tiffany@jajax.com for volunteer opportunities!