This post was written by JA Director of Operations, Christine Germino.
This summer, Terry McCafferty, joined Junior Achievement of Chicago’s Area Board. During his board orientation, Terry mentioned that he had never volunteered with Junior Achievement, but he was interested in volunteering in a classroom in the future.
In the meeting, Terry saved Zurich’s new whole school sponsored JA in a Day date in his phone. The JA in a Day was set for November 4, and we were beginning to plan the day and secure volunteers for the 22 classrooms at Winston Campus Elementary in Palatine. Throughout the next few months, Terry attended the Zurich-JA Leadership Team Meeting and offered his support securing volunteers. Terry attended a new volunteer training session and seemed eager to teach in the 5th/6th Grade Advanced classroom at the school. Two weeks before the event, we still had 12 classes open!
The Zurich-JA Leadership Team Members and I became extremely nervous about filling this whole school JA in a Day. Over the next week, I exchanged several emails with Terry and his assistant, Kim. In less than a week, Terry managed to secure volunteers for 9 classrooms at the school, and every volunteer was a new volunteer to JA! With just days before the event, we scheduled a lunch training at Zurich for the new sign-ups. Terry ordered pizza, salad and beverages for 20 new volunteers.
During the one hour training session, the volunteers learned about JA, explored the program and asked several questions. I am happy to say that the event was a total success! Winston Campus Elementary has participated in JA programs for the past 10 years. The principals and teachers all agreed that this was the best JA in a Day yet!
The success of the JA in a Day was due to the support of the Zurich-JA Leadership Team, the enthusiasm from the Zurich volunteers and the leadership of Terry McCafferty. Without his guidance and effort, the school would have experienced an event where volunteers were only secured for half of the school. I am grateful for Terry for helping us recruit volunteers and his willingness to teach a class at the JA in a Day.
The school was so impressed with the Zurich volunteers that they have been invited to participate in the school’s “Enrichment Days” in February 2017. Immediately following this year’s JA in a Day, the principal reached out to me to confirm the school’s JA in a Day with Zurich in Fall 2017! Terry’s willingness to help recruit and his positive personality helped make this an incredible experience for the school and for JA!