As we’ve mentioned, this is a big year for Junior Achievement of Lincoln! 2016 marks 45 years since JA of Lincoln was founded as a small organization trying to help high school students get better prepared for future careers. Needless to say, we’ve grown a lot since then! We now serve tens of thousands of students from kindergarten through high school all across southeastern and central Nebraska!
Our continued success has been possible thanks to generosity and support from countless caring, community-minded members of our community. So when thinking about how to best mark our milestone year, we decided it would be a great opportunity to highlight some of our notable alumni. This month, we hear from longtime volunteer Dennis Stelzer. Here’s what Dennis had to say about JA of Lincoln:
“In 1971 when Junior Achievement came to Lincoln, I was a relatively new employee of the National Bank of Commerce, one of the initial Corporate sponsors of JA Lincoln. My “boss” asked me if I would lead the advisor team for an after school company for JA. I said yes and the fun began working with young people to start a company, create products, sell products and the “business” goes on. It was truly a rewarding experience and clearly helped me personally grow in my “work” career. The after school exposure JA gave to young people was a ‘real’ hands on replica of what businesses do every day.
“As JA Lincoln grew over the years a new “product” was offered to High School students in the classroom – Applied Economics. Lincoln was an early “test” site for the classroom approach using three High Schools to start – Pius X, Lincoln Southeast, and Lincoln East. I had the honor to be one of the first three “consultants” in the classroom at Pius X. What a rewording experience to work with the teacher and students to take a classroom atmosphere and ‘apply’ it to the actual business world whether starting a business, maintaining an ongoing business or closing a business. What was being taught in the classroom had a real application. The classroom experience expanded as the years went on to include middle schools andI again had the opportunity to share with young students what JA meant to them and the business community.
“The overall years of JA involvement were absolutely fantastic for me as an individual, an employee and later on as a business owner. Thank you, Junior Achievement.”