We Are JA is a profile series highlighting the people who make up Junior Achievement – volunteers, students, companies, donors, alumni and more. Celebrating the moments, successes and experiences of our constituents, this series reveals the people who are part of Junior Achievement’s impact in the North Florida region.
Volunteer: Ruth Wright
Ruth Wright, PwC, has been volunteering with Junior Achievement for the past 8 years in Tampa and Jacksonville and is an example of someone who goes above and beyond to support JA’s mission.
This past spring, the date for PwC’s “JA in a Day” at Pickett Elementary just so happened to fall during her planned Hawaiian vacation. Despite being thousands of miles away on an island in the Pacific, she carried out her volunteer coordinator duties.
Melissa Daniel, JA Program Director, remembers telling Ruth to “Stop working!” as Ruth coordinated the JA in a Day from Hawaii. Ruth even checked in via text messages the day-of to see how it was going and made sure all volunteers were accounted for.
On the occasion we are short a classroom volunteer, she has volunteered the night before to fill in the scheduled JA class. Ruth has participated in our JA Reverse Job Shadow event and she is currently coordinating a PwC team for our Florida vs. Georgia-themed Fall Bowl-A-Thon.
Ruth was selected to participate in PwC’s Project Belize later this month where she’ll teach financial literacy at schools in Belize City. “I am beyond thrilled!” she exclaimed of the opportunity to impact more youth.
Junior Achievement: Why did you want to get involved with JA?
Ruth Wright: I love what JA does. There are so many youth who do not have the opportunities to receive basic financial literacy skills that can improve their lives tenfold. I really was drawn to the stories I heard from youth being successful coming out of the programs. I also love working with kids, so that helps!
What is your favorite part about volunteering?
I am always amazed at the kids’ reaction and willingness to learn and am truly humbled by the experience. I also feel that JA makes a difference in their lives, and am honored to be a part of this process.
Seeing kids remember topics covered from prior year’s lessons reinforces that the program does work. It is hard to really think of just one memorable moment, as there have been so many, but one of my favorite things is feeling the unconditional love the children give to me when I come and go.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting their company to participate in “JA in a Day”?
It is a truly rewarding experience! Even just one person going into the classroom makes a difference!
To learn more about volunteering with Junior Achievement of North Florida, please visit www.JAjax.com.