Why I Volunteer: Karen Quick

Posted in: Alumni Stories, Volunteers

Karen Quick is the former Director of Internal Controls at Accenture. She is now retired and serves as a member of the State and Central Arizona Boards of Directors for Junior Achievement. Here she shares about her experience volunteer mentoring and why it motivates her to keep doing so:

I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer mentor nearly 40 classes of students with Junior Achievement. To say I’m a believer in the financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship education JA provides would be an understatement. I, myself, had the opportunity to go through a JA program as a young student and directly see the impact of that learning in my professional career. As a result, I cherish the opportunities I have to see students make real world connections with the lessons I teach them in the classroom. This is one of my favorite memories:

A few years back, I was teaching a second grade class in Phoenix the JA “My Community” curriculum, which helps students understand the concept of a community and the roles that various entities play in making one run. During one lesson, we talked about banks in the community, and in particular, the role they play as safe keepers of our money.

One of the students, a young boy, commented that he hid his money in his room because his brother always stole from him. I encouraged him to ask his parents to take him to a local bank and help him open a savings accounting, where he could put his money for safe keeping.

When I returned the next week, the boy was so excited to report back that his mother had taken him to the bank and, together, they opened a savings account in his name. Remember, this was an 8-year-old! He was so relieved that his brother couldn’t steal his money anymore and felt so accomplished by this feat.

Other kids in the class were really excited by the concept and his success, and wanted to open their own, as well.

For me, this was such a telling example of the practical nature of JA’s programs. Not only did these young students get to learn about their community, but they were also able to witness a real world application, making their lessons resonate at such a young age.

What a privilege it is to be able to impact these students in such a way that may help them own their future economic success!