Volunteer FAQs

What is Junior Achievement?
JA is the oldest, largest, and fastest-growing non-profit economics education program throughout the world. Junior Achievement teaches financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to students in grades K-12 through community volunteers teaching our pre-prepared curriculum.  JA programs are innovative, relevant, and hands-on, and meet Common Core and state standards.

Where does Junior Achievement implement programs?
Junior Achievement implements programs all over Rhode Island, in schools where administrators and teachers have requested our curriculum.  In the 2015-16 school year, we implemented programs in 50 schools throughout the state and reached almost 7,000 students.

What do Junior Achievement volunteers do?
JA volunteers teach our pre-prepared curriculum on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms throughout Rhode Island.  Volunteers not only deliver the JA program content to students, but also share their own related personal and professional experiences and act as role models for their students.  

What is the time commitment for Junior Achievement volunteers?
The time commitment to volunteer with Junior Achievement is very manageable.  The time commitment includes:

  • One hour for training with JA staff for any new volunteers, to be held at a convenient time and place for the volunteer, either individually or in a group.
  • The actual teaching time in the classroom (see options below).
  • Preparation time for the volunteer to become comfortable with the content and/or prepare any student materials (2-4 hours).

When does the actual teaching time take place?
We have two types of in-school volunteer opportunities:

  • "JA in a Day" is when multiple classrooms in an elementary or middle school have JA programs for the whole day.  Volunteers are matched with a classroom and teach one full day of a program to the same class (about 8:30am to 3:00pm).  The JA in a Day event dates are pre-set between the school and JA staff, and there are 1-3 JA in a Day events per month from October through June.
  • Week-to-week opportunities are typically at the middle and high school level.  Volunteers are matched with a classroom and teach our programs for one hour/session per week for 5-8 consecutive weeks, depending on the length of the program.  Volunteers are connected with the classroom teacher and design a schedule that works best for them.

What type of training is involved?
The JA volunteer training is about one hour, held at a convenient time and place for the volunteer. In the training volunteers will learn about the organization and our mission, will be introduced to teaching and student engagement methods, and will review the specific program that the volunteer will be teaching, if that has been determined.  We know that our volunteers typically are not trained teachers, so we aim to prepare them as much as possible to successfully teach our programs in the classroom.

Who can volunteer?
Volunteers are typically business professionals, college students, community members, or parents who want to play an active part in participating in the education of students around them.  We are continually striving to diversify our pool of volunteers to reflect the students whom we serve, and particularly welcome Spanish-speaking volunteers to deliver our programs in ESL and bilingual classrooms.

Am I qualified to volunteer in a classroom?
Anyone with a passion for Junior Achievement’s mission can be a volunteer! A desire to be an inspirational role model is a must, along with the ability to communicate, motivate, and create enthusiasm. Volunteers also have to sign a volunteer conduct standards form.

What if my schedule is always changing?
If you want to volunteer but have a varying schedule, it may be best to work with a partner. Co-teaching will make it fun for you and your partner and he/she can always take over the class if you have a meeting. Or consider setting aside a day to volunteer at a JA in a Day event.

What are the benefits of volunteering with Junior Achievement?
The benefits of volunteering with JA are numerous!  JA volunteers give back to their community and connect with young people to teach them important life skills to empower them to succeed in today’s global economy.  Volunteering with JA is not only fun, but great professional development as well.  JA volunteers practice public speaking, training, management, problem solving, and leadership during their volunteering commitment.  Many volunteers also count their JA experience for volunteer credit hours with their employer.  JA volunteers find the experience to be powerful, fun, and rewarding – and many come back and teach with us year after year!  

How do I get signed up to volunteer?
Fill out our online Volunteer Sign-Up Form.  For any questions, contact Beth Flanagan, Senior Education Manager, at 401 331 3850 or beth.flanagan@ja.org. 

I want to be involved but I simply do not have time to volunteer — what else can I do?
There are numerous fundraisers including Achieve-A-Bowl, JA CEO Golf Classics and JA’s Morris J.W. Gaebe Profile in Excellence Award where you can participate. You may also choose to host a student or have a class to visit your office for one day as part of a JA Job Shadow program. We would love to help you get involved in any way that you can!