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JA Volunteer Spotlight: Tina Heichelbech


JA Volunteer: Tina Heichelbech

Image caption: JA Volunteer: Tina Heichelbech

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana spotlights a local volunteer through an in-depth interview to showcase the true value a JA Volunteer provides to the local community.

JA: Are you currently employed? If so, please list the organization and your role. 

TH: Yes, I have worked for Kimball International for 38 years.  I currently serve as a Technical Support Specialist.

JA: How long have you volunteered with JA?

TH: This is my 13th year volunteering with JA.

JA: Why did you initially choose to volunteer with JA?

TH: Kimball was looking for volunteers and I love kids.  I also loved JA as a student when I was in high school.

JA: What do you enjoy most about Junior Achievement programs?

TH: I like that each year builds on the year before and continues to teach the kids life lessons in a way they don’t even realize they are learning. 

JA: What reason would you give to another community member on why they should volunteer with Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana?

TH: It is very rewarding to see the kids learn and grow with what you are teaching them.  I was very nervous the first time I went, but JA gives you step by step instructions of what to go over with the kids.  It’s really easy!

JA: How do you feel JA prepares students for the “real world”?

TH: I usually teach K, 1st or 2nd grade.  In these grades, JA teaches students about how families are different, but we all can help our family and neighborhood.  These grades also learn how jobs and money work.

JA: What is your preferred method of volunteering for JA and why?

TH: I prefer to be in the classroom through hands-on activities and helping the students learn the JA Program. I love watching students faces as they figure out the things I’m teaching them.  It amazes me how quickly they catch on and are excited to participate.

JA: What is one of your favorite JA moments?

TH: I remember one year that I was teaching the kids between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.  I always tell them that Food is a ‘need’.. but McDonalds is a ‘want’.  You could tell they really understood because after that, they were telling me almost everything I showed them that was a need, could also be a want! 

JA: Are you a Junior Achievement Alum. If so, tell us about your Junior Achievement experience when you were a student and how it has contributed to your career.

TH: Yes I was in JA all 4 years of high school.  I loved it.  I learned a lot about how to decide what we wanted to make, find the supplies to make it and how to decide how to market it and how much to charge.  I think those skills are things needed in all parts of life...not just my career!  It gave me an understanding of how things work behind the scenes for everything that I purchase in life. 

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