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News Article

UTC Leadership Program Volunteers Inspire Hartford Students at ‘JA in a Day’

More than 40 UTC leadership program associates volunteered at the 4th Annual JA in a Day.
Maurissa Dorman, IT Leadership Program Associate, gets her kindergarten classroom excited to learn.
Jasen Deforge, Operations Leadership Program Associate, teaches vocabulary words to his fifth-grade classroom.
A first grade student shows off her work to Deanna Rousseau, Finance Leadership Program Associate.
Shayma Vazifdar, Finance Leadership Program Associate, collects a handout from a student.
Students wait to be called on by Anil Persaud, IT Leadership Program Associate.

More than 40 UTC leadership program associates recently volunteered at the 4th Annual Junior Achievement (JA) in a Day. This year, volunteers worked with students and faculty at the Dr. James H. Naylor/CCSU Leadership Academy in Hartford.

JA is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. JA volunteers typically meet with the students over the course of several weeks, teaching a new lesson plan each visit. However, with this event, the leadership program associates taught the entire JA program in just one day.

Volunteers were assigned to teach a grade K-8 classroom and attended a training session ahead of time, where they were given a lesson plan and supporting materials. Just like the teachers at the Naylor School, volunteers had to learn and prepare lesson plans, which featured five 40-minute activities with talking points, questions and games for the students.

“JA in a Day gives leadership program associates the chance to make a difference in young people’s lives,” said Deanna Rousseau, Finance Leadership Program Associate and a member of the UTC joint leadership program JA committee. “Outside of teaching the students basic financial literacy, we have the opportunity to talk about our careers and inspire them to think about their future.  The event is beneficial for both the leadership program associates and the students. The students gain knowledge and role models, and the leadership program associates have the opportunity to apply leadership skills in a unique and impactful way.”

Each lesson plan incorporated aspects of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. At the end of the day, the students received certificates to congratulate them for completing the JA in a Day curriculum.

“Thank you to all of the UTC leadership program associates for a great day at Naylor School,” said Lakeisha Houston, Education Manager, Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, Inc. “Our programs would not be possible without the support of great volunteers.  The teachers were very impressed with all of the presentations and the students loved it! I walked around and witnessed great class discussions and participation…a job well done.”