Volunteer Give JA Training To Students In Assam

June 2009 - Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experimental, hands-on programs. Junior Achievement programs prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking at the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.


Junior Achievement At Parijat

JA Careers with a PurposeTM program caters to students of grades IX through XII introducing them to the world of business, organizations and industries and introducing limited business and economic concepts. The program creates a context in which professionals engage with students about various options that are available to them in the working world and how they can choose the career that serves their purpose the best. These professionals are experienced volunteers from different industries who have some knowledge about the industry and understand the personal and professional qualities needed for succeeding in their work. The volunteers, in a series of classroom sessions, undertake a variety of experimental activities that help students appreciate the inter-relationship between education, work, individual and the environment. During their visits to classrooms, volunteers also serve as role models to students.

A JA volunteer from the Greater Seattle area in the US, on a week-long visit to his family in Guwahati, Assam in June 2009, contacted Venkat Matoory at the India office to enquire about local JA volunteering opportunities. Venkat quickly helped identify a course, JA Careers with a Purpose, and the volunteer identified a suitable target group, the students of Class IX in Parijat Academy, a school for underprivileged children in the outskirts of Guwahati. He has had on-going interactions with the school as a volunteer for Asha for Education and the principal, Mr Uttam Teron, helped to organize the logistics for this course at a short notice. The result was a condensed workshop on June 12 at the school in which 40 students attended. Junior AchievementA factory model in the context of an incandescent light bulb was explored. The students then brainstormed the factory model for other items relevant to their life such as the ceiling fan, a bicycle, and chalk pencil for writing on blackboards, and in that context, the kinds of jobs that are necessary to enable such factory models.

After the volunteer left, Uttam reported that the students of class IX enjoyed the interaction and some of them took the advice to think hard about their careers seriously. They told their teachers that they will start a project to collectively make chalk pencil after their half yearly exam. If things go well in that project, they will also think about starting candle making. It was heartening to see that the students were able to connect their academic learning to a more "real life" application of those skills.