Laurie Raskasky, CPA and owner of Balanced Outcomes, credits her experience as a JA student for shaping her understanding and passion for business and entrepreneurship. After college and relocating to Denver, Laurie got involved with JA-Rocky Mountain, Inc. to help provide the same opportunity for other students.
Laurie has been volunteering with JA for eight years, starting with the elementary school programs. “I wanted to see if I could successfully make it as a classroom presenter,” explained Laurie. “After a couple of years, I started hearing about the great need for financial literacy skills at the high school level so I decided to give a high school program a try. It is so wonderful to challenge and be challenged by teenagers about life choices, education decisions and career opportunities.”
Laurie has presented most of JA’s high school financial literacy and workforce readiness programs and has even volunteered as a company advisor for JA Business Week. In December, Laurie had her first volunteer experience at JA Finance Park and has already established a partnership with the Colorado Society of CPAs to recruit additional JA Finance Park volunteers.
Laurie also serves on the newly formed JA Volunteer Leadership Council. The council meets monthly to develop strategies and actions to meet the growing demand for JA volunteers at the high school level. “I’m looking forward to being a part of this dynamic group that is eager to spread the JA story and grow the volunteer ranks to bring these essential skills to high school students,” said Laurie.
Growing up in a family of eight, Laurie learned early on to be very serious about financial matters such as education, working, saving and budgeting. “I was lucky to have parents and opportunities that exposed me to these important life skills because they have greatly shaped my life and outlook,” said Laurie. “My hope is that I can step in where needed to provide an opportunity to students to develop strengths in these areas to prepare them for their futures. I grew up feeling optimistic and invincible because I knew if I was willing to educate myself, work hard and be financially responsible, I could do anything! I am passionate about sharing this message with students so they have the confidence to pursue their dreams!”