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JA Volunteers of the Year


Image caption: Volunteer of the Year: Chris Thorsen

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana has awarded three Volunteers of the Year and the first Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana Educator of the Year. JA is thrilled to recognize each volunteer's dedication to #InspireTomorrows in the Southwestern Indiana community.

Chris Thorsen, Training Director at NECA/IBEW Electrical JATC, has volunteered for Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana for many years.  Chris has a spirit of volunteerism that is truly unmatched.  He is especially recognized for his work in JA JobSpark.  Chris teaches students at JA JobSpark about the wonderful career that adults can have working in a trade.  Chris believes that men and women can be successful in a trade and encourages students to explore which trade may be the best fit for them.  

Chris's coworkers also are advocates for his true dedication to his volunteerism.  His coworkers will mention proudly that Chris cares deeply about the students he inspires.  Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana is thrilled to award Chris Thorsen as the Volunteer of the Year.  Thanks, Chris, for showing JA what it means to #InspireTomorrows at JA JobSpark!

Image caption: Volunteer of the Year: Amelia Roberts

Amelia Roberts, Owner and Founder of Amelia James Coaching, is a member of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana's Board of Directors and serves on Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana's Executive Committee.  Amelia goes above and beyond to work with the JA Staff to ensure that the team is on track to meet their goals and coach the team to think outside the box. Amelia can be described as a JA Volunteer who is patient, cares deeply about JA, and always finds time to listen to those around her speaking about JA improvements.

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana would like to recognize Amelia for her tremendous work on the newly-updated 2022-2025 JA Strategic Plan.  JA is thrilled to honor Amelia as Volunteer of the Year for the countless hours that she has dedicated to ensuring that JA is on track for a successful Strategic Plan.  

Image caption: Volunteer of the Year: "JA Joe" Riepenhoff

"JA Joe" Riepenhoff has been a fearless JA volunteer for more than a decade.  Most recently, he was awarded for his JA Volunteerism at Reitz Memorial High School's commencement ceremony.  In the last 13 years of volunteering, "JA Joe" has taught 102 classes, totaling to 2,205 students, and 13,964 contact hours for students in grade K, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 at both Reitz Memorial High School and St. John Baptist Catholic School.  

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana staff has many wonderful memories with "JA Joe" that they enjoy sharing.  While the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting local schools, "JA Joe" continued to persistently contact JA and ask for new updates.  He told the JA Regional Managers that he did not want the pandemic to affect the students' education.  Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana feels honored to have a JA Volunteer that continually thinks of the students' best interest and demonstrates that through his many hours of service.  

Image caption: Educator of the Year: Linda Schaffer

Mrs. Linda Schaffer, JA Educator at EVSC New Tech Institute Entrepreneurial Academy, showed true leadership and perseverance through the pandemic school year.  While COVID-19 was heavily affecting schools, Linda chose to go the extra mile and work harder in connecting her students to JA.  Linda is a great example of what it means to truly care about your student's wellbeing.  During the school year, Linda dedicated many extra work hours to JA Entrepreneurial Mindset, JA Company Program, JA Innovation Challenge, and Entrepreneurship Council.  Linda goes above and beyond to teach her students about the JA Pillars: Financial Literacy, Work and Career Readiness, and Entrepreneurship.

Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana is honored to name Mrs. Linda Schaffer as the Educator of the Year.  JA staff can advocate for Linda's outlook of serving her students and can see that she is truly #InspiringTomorrows at New Tech Institute Entrepreneurial Academy.

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