When Personal and Professional Aspirations Collide

Every once in a while, the people you meet and the paths you cross can bring you to a place more rewarding then you ever thought possible.

That happened to me two years ago while discussing my desire to volunteer in a capacity I would find personally rewarding. A colleague told me about Junior Achievement.

Junior Achievement? I had heard of it but knew nothing about it. She explained the program to me, stressing their need for volunteers in my community. I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a try!”

In 2014, I taught my first class, “JA – Our Region.” We covered topics such as the importance of cities to a region, business and residential zones, entrepreneurship, taxes, goods and services, producers, consumers, banking, and money management. Each module was reinforced through a fun activity that engaged the students. While I was extremely nervous at the beginning, being able to communicate a subject that paralleled what I do on a professional level was enjoyable and gratifying. I realized this type of volunteer opportunity was a perfect fit for me.

As I was preparing this year’s classes, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some of the language used on the new flash cards: innovation, invention, advertising, expense, loss, profit, revenue, price, and – wait for it – supplier and supply chain! For the routine readers of HVTDC’s monthly newsletter, you’ve seen articles published on supply chain principles. Employed by an organization that sources supply chain services, imagine my excitement at teaching a subject so near and dear to my heart!

On top of that, instructing our future managers, entrepreneurs, and craftspeople on the importance of supply chain in turn helped expand my own understanding of the system. I want to thank Mrs. Waldschmidt for inviting me back into her classroom this year, and I look forward to doing this again next year, when I will be adding “Book-Buddies” to my volunteering efforts.

Junior Achievement USA is a non-profit organization financed by businesses, foundations, government and individuals. Founded in 1919, JA has contributed to the business and economic education of more than 100 million young people around the world. It is the largest organization dedicated to educating K-12 students about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs designed to help young people understand the economics of life.

HVTDC is a non-profit business resource Center providing support services to help manufacturers discover solutions and connect with each other to achieve sustained growth. They will help your organization pinpoint the appropriate supplier through our inventory of local manufacturers before ensuring the proper order and production of custom parts and establishing communication paths between all parties. HVTDC will assist organizations in maintaining a cost-efficient supply chain, reduce overhead and distribution costs, boost overall profitability, and ultimately solve the widespread challenge of limited resource availability. The results are skilled forces working together toward advancement and success in the Hudson Valley.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities or supply chain assistance, feel free to contact me at 845-391-8214 Ext. 3001, or via email at Phyllis.levine@hvtdc.org. I would be HAPPY to speak with anyone interested in learning more about Junior Achievement USA or HVTDC.