How many years have you been a JA volunteer? since 2011
What is your favorite grade/JA program? I adore the 3rd grade "Our City" Program. The students are so eager that they sometimes raise their hands before I even ask the question. I don't mind when they are noisy because I know they are engaged in what we are doing. I love the look on their faces when they answer a question and show just how much they have learned. After years of teaching, I still get answers that are new to me. Last year, when I asked the class how we pay for the things we buy, I received the usual answers of cash, check, credit or debit card but one girl surprised me when she said "coupons" She was so right and no one had ever thought of that.
I believe that Jr. Achievement is such a tremendous program. In addition to all the valuable information the students are given about finances, they also have an opportunity to express themselves to someone other than their everyday teacher. I encourage them to go home after each class and teach their parents what they learned that day. That's right-I said "teach" their parents. I believe the best way to learn anything is to teach it to someone else. They teach me something every time I am with them. Coming home after working with a group of high energy 3rd graders I am tired but it is the BEST tired you can be. I am 70 years old now and I hope that I will still be working with Jr. Achievement 10 years from now.
Why did you choose JA? Having spent much of my career in the world of budgets, JA was a perfect match for my skill set. I remember when Candice interviewed me and told me that she was looking for people who could tell stories. I told her she had the right person since I consider myself a master story teller. I have a few classes that send me a thank you note and almost every student who writes to me mentions the story I tell them about how I lost my purse in Denmark. They always write that they are happy that I ended up getting everything back. I believe a real life story is one of the greatest teaching tools.
Where do you work (if you still do)? I retired from Northrop Grumman in Melbourne 9 years ago. I was the Manager of Indirect Budgets.
Do you volunteer for any other organizations? Three days a week I work at the Brevard Community Kitchen, There I help prepare about 1,500 meals a day. A large portion of our meals are Brevard County's Meals on Wheels Program.
Do you have any hobbies? I do line dancing 6 hours a week. My husband Sky and I do quite a bit of traveling. I am currently the President of the Grumman-Northrop Grumman Retiree Club.
What area of Brevard do you live in? Sky and I moved from the Ithaca NY area to Brevard County in 1985 when Sky accepted an engineering position with Harris. We currently live in Cocoa.
Anything else we should know about you?
The above picture is of Sky and I with Ashley and Zachary Bergen, two of our four grandchildren. It was taken this June on a Grandparent and Grandchild trip conducted by Road Scholar. A few years ago, I did the 3rd grade "Our City" program with them when they spent a week with us.