JA Impact: Galadriel

Posted in: Alumni Stories, JA Impact, JA Young Ambassadors, Students

“Galadriel, an 11th grade student from Glendale, is one of our JA Young Ambassadors. She shares her experience with Junior Achievement and the impact her involvement has had to-date:

Lorenz’s chaos theory suggests that a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico may cause a hurricane in China.  It may take time a lot of time, but in the end the hurricane wouldn’t happen without the butterfly.  Small actions have transformational consequences.

Seven years ago I made the small action of attending JA Biztown, and this has certainly had an influential impact on my life.  As CEO of Wells Fargo, I learned more than just how to write a check or what a “real grown-up job” entails.  I learned leadership.  I learned that leadership requires sacrifice, as I skipped nearly all my breaks to ensure the success of my team.  I also learned that the pace of the team is set by the pace of the leader.  How could I ask my teammates to work hard if I didn’t work just as hard, if not harder?  The most important thing I learned about leadership was that leadership is my calling.  Despite the sacrifice and hardship of being a leader, I am passionate about leading others, working on a team, and helping others reach success.

My journey with Junior Achievement continued three years ago when I attended JA Finance Park.  I created a budget as a middle-class mother with a young daughter.  This was the spark that began my interest in a financial education.  I will finish my second class on accounting this semester where I have learned how to manage the finances of a business on paper and using QuickBooks.  By the time I graduate, I will have earned a Mastery of Subject Area in Accounting, as I will complete an internship next year.  By combining my passion for leadership with my financial interests, I have held a variety of treasury positions on the state and national levels.

After attending JA Finance Park, I was invited to become an Ambassador for Junior Achievement.  As an ambassador, I was sent to network with business professionals at a variety of events.  At first, this was a daunting task.  However, with the mentorship of Junior Achievement and the constant practice, I slowly became comfortable instigating conversations with business professionals. Now, I can lead conversations that interest not only the business people I speak with, but that interest me as well.  I have developed the poise and self-confidence necessary to do this because of Junior Achievement.

After all these years of experience and learning with Junior Achievement, the most important thing I have learned is education is more than just school.  My education encompasses so much more than how well I do on a calculus quiz or my ability to analyze the symbolism of The Great Gatsby. My education is about learning to lead a productive and impactful future.  My education is about finding my passion, and about using what I’m passionate about to better myself, my community, and our world.  Thank you, Junior Achievement, for helping me find my passion.”