By Andy Silver, State Farm Agent and JA Volunteer
Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. has played an important role in my life as a business owner and volunteer. I first volunteered with JA through a program called JA Business Week, designed for high school students where they analyze real life business challenges and present solutions to members of the business community. Throughout the week students stay in dorms, a first for many of them being away from home and family, learning real-world business solutions – everything from finance, business ethics, interviewing, marketing and business plan formulation, to name a few.
Over the span of fifteen years, ten of which I acted as a week-long mentor/advisor, my experience has been nothing short of transformational both professionally and personally. I mentored the students in their areas of interest for future career paths and helped them uncover unique talents. It was a real eye opener for me learning many of the students had never had that type of mentoring experience before. The importance of the role I was playing to help shape their lives elevated my interpersonal skills working with students from all walks of life.
It was no surprise when I worked to open the Andy Silver State Farm® Agency I employed a similar formulation for my business plan and marketing strategy taught during JA Business Week. Now, as a small business owner, I’m excited to share my real-world insight with future students.
I’ve stayed in touch with many of the students I had the pleasure of meeting and mentoring over the years, following their journey through college, and venturing into the business world. I’m continuously amazed at their success. Some have opened their own internet web design firms or a screen printing business, crediting JA Business Week as a direct link to their success. Witnessing their growth and achievement gives me such personal joy, inspiring the work my staff and I do each and every day – assisting our valuable customers. If you haven’t already – I encourage you and your staff to find your niche volunteering for JA-Rocky Mountain.