JA Girl$ Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Marko


Jennifer Marko, Communications professional

Jennifer Marko had some free time this summer and called Elizabeth Paulson, JA Girl$ program director, to see if there were any available volunteer opportunities. She soon found herself teaching a group of 12 eight and 9-year old girls at Community Connection’s Davis Center in downtown Jacksonville.

Jennifer has taught JA Girl$ in the past, teaching a group of 10th and 11th grade students at Fletcher High School, and also enjoys participating in career fair events and Smart Women Make Change each year.DSCN2790

Reflecting on her recent JA Girl$ experience at the Davis Center, Jennifer said, “I was happy to have the opportunity to serve and to influence that group of adorable girls.”

JA Girl$ groups serves girls from all walks of life and the mix of personalities is always prevalent when teaching a group of 10-12 girls. Jennifer found inspiration in her students.

She explains, “In one of the first lessons, we were talking about what skills and talents they already have that would be transferable to a job in the future. I asked them to write down at least two things that they are good at.

One girl raised her hand and said, “Miss Jennifer, I’m good at a lot of things. I don’t think they will all fit on this page.” It was nice to hear such confidence from a third grader. We should all have that view of ourselves.”

Jennifer hopes she can help the girls understand how to go about setting aDSCN2793nd reaching their goals, no matter how far-fetched their dreams may seem to them.

“I know that certain things-college, career, buying a home- can seem out of reach, depending on your personal circumstance,” she says. “I always make sure to give them examples of how things can be done, like grants, scholarships and loans for college, for example. I want them to see that there is a path to their goals.”


Do you, like Jennifer, want to make a difference in a girl’s life? Sign up to become a JA Girl$ volunteer! Visit jajax.com or contact Elizabeth Paulson at 904-398-9944 ext.225, elizabeth@jajax.com.

Smart Women Make Change is Junior Achievement’s annual event to benefit the JA Girl$ program. On October 23, Danica Patrick, Coca-Cola racing family member, will serve as keynote at the event. Tickets are on sale now at jajax.com.



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