During her ten years of volunteer service to Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain (JA), Sarah Saltzman, Payroll Administrator for SM Energy, has taught nearly every grade level from Kindergarten through 12th grade. She has taught the traditional JA program as well as JA in a Day, and has served as a valued volunteer for JA Finance Park and JA Business Week. Needless to say, Sarah is a “JA Superstar.” So, where did Sarah’s passion for financial education come from?
“I wasn’t raised in a financially stable household and I wasn’t taught about personal finances from my parents, so I had to learn the hard way,” said Sarah. “I really like that JA teaches students how to manage money before they are faced with tough choices. I also love that JA shows students that there are endless opportunities for them if they focus and work hard.”
Sarah is all about helping students increase their financial understanding, harness their potential, and pursue their dreams, and she has remained committed to teaching JA, despite changes in her own life. For some volunteers, for example, a job change might mean that they no longer have the time or the company support to continue their volunteer efforts. That’s not the case with Sarah.
“She is personally passionate about JA,” said Kristi Shaffer, JA executive vice president. No matter where she works, Sarah remains committed to inspiring young people. She’s had a few different employers during her service to JA, yet she continues to make the time to serve students and to share her passion for financial literacy.
“Sarah is a great example for other JA volunteers who experience change in their personal or professional lives. While some things may change, your personal commitment to the community initiatives that matter most to you can remain constant,” added Kristi.
Volunteerism is seldom a one-way street, and as Sarah shares, “I feel like the students contribute way more to me than I could ever contribute to them. I have seen students graduate from college, get married and succeed in their careers. To be even a small part of that is the best feeling in the world. The impact volunteering has on the students can last a lifetime and makes it so rewarding.”
JA is grateful to Sarah for her ongoing commitment and exceptional contributions to JA’s programs and students. If you’d like to join Sara in teaching youth about financial responsibility and inspiring a passion in free enterprise and entrepreneurship, sign up to volunteer with JA today.