Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas Recognizes Local Volunteers for Outstanding Service

JA Volunteer Makes a Difference in the Lives of Young People in the Community

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas and Conroe ISD acknowledge four volunteers for their exceptional dedication and service to our schools and, most importantly, to our students.


Joe Burke, president of Junior Achievement of JA Southeast Texas, expressed "Dr. Keith Wagner, Dennis Smith, Zach Richmond, and Aleisha Bannenberg have been an invaluable part of making Junior Achievement so successful in our high schools in CISD." "They have brought their personal and professional experiences to students in the community, and it has helped make the connection between what they are learning in school and what they will need to succeed in work and life." 


Keith Wagner has taught JA Titan® to high school seniors for the past eight years.  JA Titan allows students to operate a virtual company through a Web-based simulation. The students' success depends on decisions about their product's price and their company's marketing the pas research and development, and business practices. Win or lose, students gain an understanding of how management decisions affect a company's bottom line. Keith is the owner of Wagner Insurance, where he is a Farmers® Insurance Agent and a member of Montgomery County JA Advisory Council.


Dennis Smith has taught JA Finance Park® to high school seniors for the past two years. This year, Dennis' goal was to provide the JA Titan program to each of the six high schools in Conroe ISD.  JA Finance Park is a program that introduces students to personal financial planning and career exploration. At the culmination of this program, students visit JA Finance Park, a realistic on-site or virtual community, to put into practice what they've learned by developing and committing to a personal budget. Dennis is a retired Economist from BHP Billiton and Murphy Oil.


Zach Richmond and Aleisha Bannenberg were the JA Mentors for JA Company Program® at The Woodlands College Park this year. They took the program to unprecedented levels of accomplishment in CISD.   JA Company Program unlocks the innate ability in high school students to fill a need or solve a problem in their community by launching a business venture and unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. The program focuses on Company Ops, the majority of meeting time, where students build and manage their business. Meeting-specific, student-friendly materials, and resources increase student interaction and emphasize JA's experiential approach to learning. Zach is the co-owner of Richmond Realty Group at RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring, and for the group, Aleisha serves as the Marketing Coordinator.


"All of our volunteers have helped reinforce the value of an education to countless students," Burke said. "These four are a wonderful example of how one person can make such a huge difference in the lives of young people in our community."


Locally, Junior Achievement serves approximately 28,000 students each year in Conroe ISD. These volunteers are a part of a national network of business and community volunteers who are helping young people develop the competence, confidence, and character needed for success in school, work, and life. 

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