Rewind a few years to a warm, sunny June day at the Johnson & Wales campus, and you’ll find Rondah Frierson checking in as a student participant at JA Business Week. In fact, Rondah attended the summer program twice during her high school years. Then, flash forward to June 8, 2014 to a rainy scene in front of the same dorm hall. You’ll find Rondah again, but this time she’ll be wearing her Company Advisor blue lanyard and she’ll be carrying a bag of icebreaker supplies and spare pens. For the past two years, Rondah Frierson has devoted one entire week (including nights spent sleeping in the dorms) to the students at JA Business Week.
Company Advisors are mentors to a “company” of teens at JA Business Week. They spend almost 70 hours during the entire week with their students, supporting them on their projects, chaperoning them on field trips, and connecting workshop content to the real world.
Last year, Rondah sprang to the rescue when a Company Advisor had a last-minute emergency and needed a replacement. With her support and guidance, her company won the challenge in 2013. Although her students didn’t win first place this year, her company gained real business skills by learning to cooperate and work together towards a common goal. During the JA Business Week presented by Arrow Electronics closing ceremony on June 13, 2014, Rondah shared that the most remarkable part of her company’s experience was their growth as a team. She shared that “when we come to JA Business Week, we come as an individual; when we leave, we leave as a team.”
Rondah leads by example. She modeled for her students what it means to truly respect people who are different and to celebrate and capitalize on those different strengths. She has a profound, mature appreciation for others and never gives less than her best. As a result, her students view her as a mentor who deeply cares about them and their success. Plus, she helps the students hold themselves to the same high standards that she sets for herself. Her students seek her input in proofing resumes, brainstorming college choices, and connecting with potential future employers. How wonderful that she has made such a positive impact as a Company Advisor, and JA could not be more grateful for her work in making the entire program a success.
Rondah is currently pursuing her degree in Public Relations at Oral Roberts University where she serves as Vice President of Alpha Lambda Delta and member of the American Advertising Federation. We at Junior Achievement are gracious for her support here in the Rocky Mountain area and wish her all the best down in Tulsa, Oklahoma!