Paul Natale has been an entrepreneur, has worked in the private industry, and in both city and state government, drawing from his diverse backgrounds to ease the minds of students. “This shows that there are many roads to happiness in the workforce. When students realize that there are many career paths and the first one they pick does not have to be the only one, it takes some of the pressure off of making that decision.”
Paul learned about Junior Achievement while serving as the mayor of Commerce City and one of the council members suggested that he considers volunteering for the organization. Since his term as mayor ended in November 2011, Paul has volunteered in 28 classes, which include elementary, middle, and high school classes; JA in a Day and traditional formats; JA Business Week and JA Capitalism with a Conscience; and many sessions at JA Finance Park.
“After the first time volunteering, I was hooked. I was energized every time I entered a classroom. The students seem to respond to the information and JA’s background information was excellent. I look forward to getting into the classroom each day, even at 8 a.m.”
Paul understands firsthand the importance of JA in the classroom and its impact on students. “JA gives the students a respite from normal selection of classes. Sometimes it is just the change of pace that opens those avenues of learning. My most satisfying moments are when students see me in public. I have had a few introduce themselves to me and state they really appreciated what I taught them and how they are already using some of the items in their life now. Sure makes you glad you volunteer.”