CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In an effort to encourage work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and using experiential learning to inspire young students to dream big and reach their potential, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students volunteered more than 5,000 hours teaching Junior Achievement curriculum to kindergarten through 12th grade students in the 2015-2016 school year.
As a thank you for that volunteerism, President Emeritus of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Dr. Flavius Killebrew, was invited to the Junior Achievement USA (JA) Volunteer Summit in New York on March 7 to receive the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award at the bronze level on the behalf of the University. This year, the Island University was one of 64 organizations in the nation honored by JA.
Dr. Marilyn Spencer, Chair of Decision Sciences and Economics; Dr. Ben Blanco, Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Management and Marketing; and Dr. Ahmed Elkassabgi, Visiting Faculty in the Department of Decision Sciences and Economics – all housed within the College of Business at A&M-Corpus Christi – provide opportunities to volunteer in the Junior Achievement Program at the University.
“We are proud of our students for their volunteerism though our courses,” said Spencer. “It’s a win-win for both our students and the community. Our students actually learn these concepts better while preparing to teach them to the children, as well as picking up practical interpersonal and presentation skills during the delivery of the curriculum. I began this partnership with JA at least a decade ago, and I still greatly enjoy my students’ stories of how enthusiastic and engaged the children are during these lessons. I consider this to be a perfect partnership.”
In 2003, President George W. Bush established the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation (the Council) to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make in communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. In 2006, Junior Achievement became an official certifying organization for this award, which recognizes corporations with a U.S. presence that provide volunteers to teach JA programs anywhere in the world.
"Junior Achievement volunteers are important mentors for young people, bringing our programs to life,” said Jayne Woodall, District Director, Junior Achievement of the Coastal Bend. “JA volunteers share their experiences and skills with students while delivering our programs, teaching them how to manage their money, succeed in the workforce, or start a business that creates jobs and grows the economy. JA’s volunteers are critical to our organization’s success and are a vital part of our mission.”For a complete list of 2015-2016 winners of the JA U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award, click here.