Q: How long have you been volunteering for JA JobSpark?
I started as an Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Cluster member/exhibitor in 2016 and have been an AFN Cluster Co-chair in 2017, 2018 and again in 2019. I also continue to be part of my organization’s experience during the JA JobSpark event.
Q: What Cluster/Committees do you serve on for JA JobSpark?
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Cluster
Q: What is your favorite part about JA JobSpark?
Interacting with the students when they come to our cluster and participate in our experience. Also, sharing my career experiences with the students.
Q: Why do you volunteer with the JA JobSpark Initiative?
My career path was all but straight forward. I would have appreciated some exposure to options/guidance while I was in middle school. After I finally got to my final career as a plant scientist, I enjoyed every day of my working life as I was doing something that I really enjoyed doing. JA JobSpark offers grade 8 students an opportunity to be exposed to a range of career opportunities when they are deciding courses to take in High School to get them on a potential career path. I do STEM education outreach at many different events throughout the year and JA JobSpark offers a great opportunity to do this with a STEM career orientation.
Q: Why is your company involved in JA JobSpark?
The “organization” that I represent is Celebrate Science Indiana. It is an annual Science Festival held the first Saturday of October at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. It is one of the two major events of the Science Education Foundation of Indiana. It is more of a family event. JA JobSpark allows my organization to get to a much broader range of students at a critical stage in their education (grade 8) than we would ever get to at Celebrate Science Indiana and help them understand that science can be fun and offer a broad range of exciting careers. We also invite the students at JA JobSpark to come with their families to Celebrate Science Indiana.