By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
ELLICOTT, Colo. — Schriever members are volunteering their time at Ellicott High School to be part of the Junior Achievement program designed to empower young people in economic success.
According to their website, Junior Achievement impacted more than 4.2 million U.S. students during the 2011-2012 school year.
Boasting 178,000 volunteers, the program helps students develop skills relevant to the 21st-century global marketplace.
First Lt. Josiah Loeser, from the 2nd Space Operations Squadron here, is one of those volunteers.
“I have always had an interest in teaching and this program allows me to share my knowledge with students with a very flexible timeline,” he said. “When I was in elementary school in Texas, I was taught about local government and supply chain management by volunteers in the program. When I found out this program existed in Colorado, I was very excited to help out and hopefully pass on some knowledge to others.”
The program solicits community leaders to teach elementary and high school business classes and empowers young leaders to take control of their financial future, said Capt. Mark Wojtowicz, 50th Mission Support Group executive officer.
“In short, the program solicits community leaders to teach elementary and high school business classes. It aims to empower young leaders to take control of their financial future,” he said. “It’s a great outreach opportunity for company grade officers, since traditional high school curriculum rarely covers such life-impacting decisions, such as creating annual budgets, how to buy a house or how to start your own business. These classes better prepare graduates for the economic challenges they’ll face throughout their lives.”
Classes taught by volunteers at the high school include Personal Finance, Exploring Economics, Be Entrepreneurial, and Titan, which provides students with an online business simulation.
Loeser will teach Personal Finance.
“It is a great program that will begin to teach students basic financial discipline,” said Loeser. “It covers the importance of income and savings. It also gets into loans, credit, and investing.”
He is well qualified for the job, already having earned an MBA with an emphasis in finance.
“I know the secret to staying financially secure is to start preparing early,” he said.
“Hopefully, this opportunity will allow me to set up a few students for future financial success.”
The program builds a strong bond between Schriever and Ellicott as well.
“I am very enthusiastic about building community and partnerships with our neighbors at Schriever AFB and Junior Achievement. Many of our Ellicott students have a direct connection to Schriever. Having volunteers that come from Schriever shows a convincing and active commitment to the education of our students,” said Karen Kelling, Future Business Leaders of America advisor and business teacher at Ellicott. “The underlying message that Schriever volunteers bring to our students is one that indicates a solid message about the impact that education has on their future career and life choices”.
Although the program at Ellicott High School has all the volunteers it needs, there are other opportunities throughout Colorado Springs. For more information, visit www.ja.org or contact Wojtowicz at 567-3708.