24: Empowering Young People To Own Their Economic Success | Katherine Elam and Laura Elliot | Junior Achievement

Be Inspired | Do Good:

At Junior Achievement (JA) of SW Virginia, they are Empowering. Inspiring. Making Impact. And, Changing lives.

As JA sends volunteers from the local business community into kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms they are helping students better understand how business works. Their volunteers not only present materials and lessons that are fun and informative for the students, but they also serve as role models, sharing their own business experience to help students more concretely understand the relationship between what they learn in school and their success in later life.

Being a volunteer based organization, may not make it the easiest to “run,” but Katherin and Laura, along with the other JA staff members make it look easy.  They exude passion, character, tenacity, and vigor for making HUGE impact in their 17 county SW Virginia region.

As President, Katherin Anderson Elam is responsible for day-to-day operations, ensuring the staff is trained properly, maintaining strong board relations, fundraising, keeping the organization financially solvent, and continue to develop a working relationship with the business community.  Katherin continues to look for new partnerships that can benefit JA locally and globally.

While Laura Elliott, as Vice President of Education, oversees the Volunteer Coordinator and provides training for new volunteers.  She coordinates all Job Shadow activities and special programs. In addition, Laura is the staff liaison to the standing board committee Student Impact. Plus, serves on several School systems’ school-to-work committees, and the Chamber of Commerce education committee.

Through their volunteers, the JA movement educates and inspires young people to value free enterprise, business, and economics.  They improve the quality of young people’s lives and improve communities.

Make your mark.  Make an impact.  Change a life by volunteering for JA today.

Go see them in person at:

Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia®  – 3433 Brambleton Avenue, Suite 202B, Roanoke VA 24018

Call them at (540) 989-6392

Junior Achievement Website


More From the Junior Achievement SWVA Website:





Purpose: Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia, Inc. is a non-profit organization that “empowers young people to own their economic success.”

Mission: Our volunteers deliver programs that foster work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills to Kindergarten through 12th grade students in local schools. The programs use experiential learning to inspire kids to dream big and reach their potential.

What’s involved in becoming a volunteer: Junior Achievement will train you so that you are prepared to enter the classroom (about an hour).  Your teaching kit contains everything you need to conduct your lessons, including a wonderful guidebook that takes you step by step through every lesson. You will contact your assigned teacher and decide on a visit schedule that works best for you both.

What is the time commitment? 

  • Typically, visit once a week* for a total of
  • 5 Lessons   (elementary)                 or                 6 lessons (middle school)
  • 30-45 minutes each                                                  40-55  minutes each

Kids inspired for a lifetime!

*Other scheduling arrangements, such as completing the whole program in one day or one week, are often possible.

Our volunteer needs: We have a variety of volunteer opportunities for you to choose from in Roanoke County, Roanoke City, and Salem schools, plus a few in other areas, including Montgomery, Franklin, Carroll, and Botetourt Counties.

Thank you in advance for making a difference in a child’s life!




Thanks for joining me again this week. If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments about this episode, please be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons below. Thank you!

Related Posts