At AT&T, we know a connection can spark a relationship, propel a business, or empower a student to find their next breakthrough moment. When we connect, things change.
What’s more, we believe every person deserves the chance to turn their dreams into reality. That’s why our mission is to bring connectivity to everyone, no matter where they live or where they come from.
We love sharing this passion for connectivity and we want to give our local community organizations a chance to share theirs too.
We spoke with Lena Yarian, the President of Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, about her passion to connect young people and students to the resources they need to succeed.
Q: Why is being part of a nonprofit that serves young people and students so important to you?
A: It is hard to find anything more aspirational than to know you are changing the trajectory of a young person’s life. Junior Achievement (JA) is able to do this with early introduction to workforce readiness, financial literacy education, entrepreneurship, and core success competencies.
At Junior Achievement we believe in “possible.”
Each day, we work to help young people discover what’s possible in their lives. We do this by helping them connect what they learn in school with life outside the classroom. We let them know it’s possible to invest in their future, to gain a better understanding of how the world works, and to pursue their dreams. We show them that it’s possible for tomorrow to be a better day.
Q: Which part of your work is most rewarding?
A: I enjoy recruiting others to be involved in JA. It may be as a volunteer or through their financial support. Through JA, they can make an incredible impact and they can see the returns of the investment of time and resources. Once they are engaged, they are hooked because they can see that their impact is so impressive. They are changing lives!
Q: Tell me a little bit about the virtual nature of the JA JobSpark™ programming this year.
A: The JA JobSpark Virtual Career Expo brings schools and industry professionals together through a fun, engaging, and interactive virtual experience to inspire and educate young people regarding future career opportunities.
During the JA JobSpark Virtual event, students explore eight different industry clusters and learn about careers from our region through live demonstrations, live industry Q&A’s, on-the-job videos, and downloadable career information.
It is remarkable to reflect on how JA JobSpark Virtual, which was originally conceived as a solution to pandemic-related program delivery challenges, has become such a valuable component of our career exploration offerings. We are confident that the long-term result of JA JobSpark will be a new generation of workers who find careers that they are passionate about—a generation of workers who are prepared to fill the jobs of tomorrow and grow our region.
Q: How did AT&T play a role in your JA JobSpark™ plans for 2023?
A: The support we received from AT&T has allowed us to continue to provide a cutting-edge digital learning experience to students across northern Indiana. The online nature of JA JobSpark Virtual helps students not just in metro, but also rural and urban areas, to participate in this tremendous educational opportunity.