For students looking to change their future, Junior Achievement provides an answer

JA Reverse Job Shadow

Fresh Path participants at JA Reverse Job Shadow on June 17.

We teamed up with FreshMinistries back in April for JA Reverse Job Shadow, but June 17 let us become involved for the first time with their newest program, Fresh Path.

Fresh Path is an opportunity for core-city youth to change their future by providing them with life-skills, job training and health, wellness and nutrition education.

Some people might look at these young people and see a challenging road ahead; FreshMinistries decided to do something about it and Fresh Path was born.

On this balmy summer evening, eight JA volunteers gathered at FreshMinistries’ Weaver Center for Community Outreach to bring JA Reverse Job Shadow to the Fresh Path participants.

Each volunteer took a table and set out materials related to their job. The students gathered towards the back of the room, waiting for a couple more to arrive before starting. Many looked down at their phones with headphones on that drowned out the rest of the room.

At 6:15 p.m. the event began. The students would spend eight minutes at each station then rotate to the next. The volunteer-to-student ratio worked out so the students could talk one-on-one with each professional, with one table having two students.

Just a few minutes in, the room had an elevated energy about it. Students were making eye contact, asking questions, smiling and looking like they were enjoying themselves. When “time” was called, no student was quick to get up and move because they were so engaged in conversation.

“A little light bulb seemed to go off in each of them,” said Don Covey, retired financial professional. “I think the most rewarding part of the evening was that each person I listened to seemed to understand that hard work and education will be the key to their success.”

“Ryan and I were impressed with the way they handled themselves and showed interest in what we had to say,” said Kaytee Esser, Gilbane Building Company. “I hope that they all aim high and trust that they can reach their dreams and beyond. They have a lot to offer the world. I am looking forward to what they bring to the future.”

JA Reverse Job Shadow

Sonya Snyder, Jacksonville Business Journal

JA Reverse Job Shadow

Don Covey, retired financial professional

JA Reverse Job Shadow

Ryan Sitnik and Kaytee Esser, Gilbane Southeast

We would like to thank the following volunteers for participating in this event:

Don Covey – Retired, Finance
Michael Dwyer – Primerica Financial
Kaytee Esser, Ryan Sitnik – Gilbane Southeast
Mark Ross – U.S. Navy
Rachael Sellers – PWC
Sonya Snyder – Jacksonville Business Journal
Howard Taylor – Retired, Insurance
Daniel Young – PA Worldwide Inc.

You can view all the photos from this event in our Facebook photo album.

Click here to learn more about FreshMinistries’ Fresh Path program.

JA Reverse Job Shadow introduces students to careers by bringing the real world to their schools or community sites. To learn more about this unique program and how you can get involved, please click here.


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