Author: Jim McCaskill
Published: Monday, 25 Jan 2021
For 75 years, Junior Achievement has been active in our local community, and in that time over 1 million students have been inspired and taught by thousands of volunteers from hundreds of local businesses. Talk to a few accomplished people in our business community about Junior Achievement, and you will quickly start hearing quotes like: “JA taught me how a bank account works!” “It taught me how business works.” “I use it to teach my own kids.” And not uncommonly, “My volunteer made a huge impact on my life.”
Kevin Toorcana, now well established in a career influenced by JA made a similar comment when we first met. He was kind enough to share his story while explaining why he’s a supporter of JA Together.
“I was a student in Junior Achievement about 21 years ago, and we all looked a little different then,” smiled Kevin. Today he works directly with global petrochemical companies to meet their sourcing and operations needs. Like many JA Alumni, Kevin followed his mentors into the same industry, and is now with logistics giant, Katoen Natie. “I give my parents, and Pasadena ISD a lot of credit for challenging me. My brother and sister also went through JA. It was expected. A lot of other things lined up for me as well, and I’m very blessed. What JA added was a really good sense of the business world, and how business works. JA, and especially my JA advisors made a great impact on my career.”
Kevin’s experience is common, but only about 1 in 5 alumni can remember their JA volunteer’s name. That’s a key reason we recently launched JA Together, our local alumni site. “I’m excited about re-connecting with JA volunteers and classmates and see what everyone’s doing. I would be interested in serving as an advisor, and I’m sure there are others who would like to as well.” In celebration of JA Alumni month, please visit JA Together, and help us connect this growing community. Together we can inspire better tomorrows for students.
To see more amazing tidbits about the impact JA has had on participating students, download our most resent Alumni Study.