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Educator Spotlight of the Month: July 2021


Image caption: July 2021 Spotlight: Lori Madison

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana gives a spotlight to a local educator every month by publishing an in-depth interview about their JA experience.

JA: What grade do you teach & where?

LM: I am the Academic Development Coordinator at the Dream Center.  I previously taught 3rd, 4th, and Interventions at Caze Elementary.

JA: Are you a Junior Achievement Alum?  

LM: No.

JA: How long have you hosted Junior Achievement programs in your classroom/school?

LM: While at Caze Elementary, we hosted JA in a Day for 4 years.  Last year our Dream Center Program Leaders/Peacemakers were able to teach JA at Delaware School, and now we're hosting JA It's My Business with the Middle School Summer Zoom students at the Dream Center.  It's been fun to listen to the students develop business ideas this summer!

JA: Why did you initially choose to have Junior Achievement programs in your classroom/school?

LM: The Dream Center's vision is to create a community of youth that are achieving their dreams and transforming Jacobsville into a neighborhood characterized by faith, hope, pride, and inspiration.  Our program goal is to see our youth succeed through a postsecondary degree into a thriving vocation and return to the neighborhood to transform it as leaders.  The JA Pillars of Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, and Work Readiness align with our vision and goals, so it is a great program collaboration.

JA: What do you enjoy most about having Junior Achievement programs taught to your students? 

LM: It provides our students with additional role models, connections, and inspiration.  Hearing the student's business ideas and using their creativity to transform some of those ideas into a potentially viable business venture that they can pursue to gain real world experience and work readiness skills is exciting.

JA: What reason would you give to another educator on why they should have Junior Achievement programs in their classroom/school?

LM: As educators, we're generally focused on student success within core academic standards.  JA provides corporate volunteers to expand our students' awareness and knowledge regarding important life and career skills that aren't often directly taught, which helps prepare them for a successful future.

JA: How do you feel JA relates to what you/other educators teach in the classroom?

LM: JA incorporates Academic Standards into practical, real world lessons and learning.

JA: What value do you feel a JA volunteer provides you and your students?

LM: JA brings new voices to provide inspiration and awareness regarding future career opportunities.

JA: What is one of your favorite JA moments?

LM: Seeing our students brainstorming and working as a team to create entrepreneurial ideas.

JA: In what ways has the pandemic changed how JA is being taught in your classroom/school?

LM: When corporate volunteers weren't able to go into the classrooms this year, our Dream Center Program Leaders/Peacemakers were able to step into the gap.

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