It began as a challenge from a friend, and more than a year later Brian Florey continues to support Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain.
“Back when the ice bucket challenge was happening for ALS, a good friend of mine issued her own challenge to friends. She asked us to identify a nonprofit organization that inspired us and whose mission matched our values. She then asked us to make a modest monthly contribution to support our cause for as long as we could.”
Accepting the challenge, Brian thought back to his youth in Denver and to Steve Gaylord, a man whom he respected and admired, who worked in a leadership position with Junior Achievement USA.
“I remembered that JA supported things that I believe in – self-reliance, education and financial literacy. While I hadn’t directly experienced JA programs as a kid, I definitely knew a lot about them from Steve, and I knew that JA was a solidly run organization that was making a difference.”
As the vice president of business development for Transamerica, an insurance, investments and retirement planning company, financial management plays a big role in Brian’s career, and this also was a factor in his selecting JA as his nonprofit of choice. “It was easy for me to set up a recurring donation to Junior Achievement. I made mine through the Colorado Gives Day website, but you can also set up a monthly contribution directly through JA’s website.”
For Brian, giving to JA on a monthly basis is just like managing any other financial commitment. “Whether you’re saving for a house or retirement, or paying off a credit card, when you bite off small pieces, anything is doable. A manageable, but meaningful monthly contribution for me can turn out to be a significant annual gift for JA,” shared Brian.
Fortunately for JA, Brian’s commitment doesn’t stop with his ongoing financial contribution. He also spends time volunteering for JA and recently served as a JA Finance Park volunteer. At Finance Park, students become adults for the day and are immersed in a reality-based decision-making process that addresses aspects of individual family budgeting including housing, transportation, food, utilities, health care, investments, philanthropy and banking.
“I am impressed with the level of depth and detail that JA Finance Park takes students through. I was struck by how well organized the program is and how efficiently it is delivered,” said Brian. “Most of all I was amazed with how well the students engage in the exercises. They are learning real-life skills and it became an interesting challenge to balance the budget.
“Many charitable organizations assist people with immediate needs such a shelter, food or medical care, and that is noble,” adds Brian. “JA, on the other hand, is empowering kids and helping them to become self-sufficient. Junior Achievement is all about creating solutions and long-term impact.”
JA-Rocky Mountain is grateful for Brian Florey’s long-term commitment to helping prepare young people to thrive in the 21st century workplace and global economy by inspiring a passion in free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and instilling an understanding of personal financial literacy.
To join Brian in making a recurring monthly contribution to JA-Rocky Mountain, please schedule your donation today.