Since 2003, Jay has been actively involved with Junior Achievement (JA), the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Jay has supported JA through his work as both a volunteer teacher and an ambassador helping to recruit Deloitte employees to the organization’s corporate volunteer program. In his role as a volunteer teacher, Jay conducts four classes each year (each class consists of five to eight lessons) at local elementary and middle schools to educate students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, economics, and financial literacy.
As an ambassador for JA, Jay is tireless in his efforts to spread the word about Junior Achievement throughout his office. He enthusiastically and consistently participates in volunteer recruitment efforts, sharing his experiences with fellow Deloitte employees and helping to conduct Junior Achievement volunteer trainings for the staff.
Jay’s work with Junior Achievement enables him to provide young people with the practical knowledge, guidance, and experience they need to become successful, productive citizens. In particular, his work teaching JA’s “Excellence through Ethics” curriculum helps to address a critical issue that has emerged among today’s youth.
According to the fifth annual Junior Achievement/Deloitte Teen Ethics Survey, which polled teens across the country, 71% of surveyed teens say they feel fully prepared to make ethical decisions when they enter the workforce. Yet 38% of that group believes it is sometimes necessary to cheat, plagiarize, lie or even behave violently in order to succeed. Nearly one-quarter of all teens surveyed think cheating on a test is acceptable on some level and more than half of those teens say their personal desire to succeed is the rationale.
These statistics demonstrate the very real and urgent need for ethics training in our schools. As part of Jay’s volunteer work on behalf of JA, he works with students to help them examine how their beliefs align with major ethics theories and learn the benefits and advantages of having a code of ethics.
Thanks to Jay’s work with JA, students at schools throughout his community are given a new perspective that will help to shape the course of their lives and, ultimately, prepare them to enter the workforce as young professionals. Through the JA curriculum, he teaches students about economics, trading, saving, careers, lifestyle planning, urban planning, and other key concepts that their textbooks, and often even their teachers, don’t teach them. From showing them how to write checks and avoid credit card debt to helping them explore career possibilities and learn the importance of ethical decision-making, Jay gives young people the understanding and exposure they need to successfully navigate the intricacies of adult life.
And, it is clear that the lessons he teaches actually do make an impression. Because Jay teaches at schools in the local community, he often runs into his former students. More often than not, regardless of how many years have passed since they’ve worked together, his students consistently bring up the topics they learned in his class.
In addition, through his work as a JA ambassador, Jay has helped to significantly grow the number of Deloitte volunteers engaged in the program. For the last five years, volunteer participation has steadily gone up each year by 45 – 53 percent. Ultimately, this increase in volunteers means that more students are able to benefit from JA’s programming and get on the path to a successful future. In 2003, Deloitte volunteers were able to impact nearly 400 students. Whereas, thanks in large part to Jay proactively sharing his experience and championing JA throughout his office, close to 1,800 students were impacted in 2008.
Based on these outstanding contributions to both JA and his students, Jay was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2005/2006.
Jay’s genuine passion for community service and social responsibility is what sets him apart. All it takes is talking to him for a few minutes to feel the authenticity of his commitment. Since his days as a youth minister years ago, he has maintained a steadfast belief in the power of education and outreach to change the lives of young people. And, despite a busy work schedule, family commitments, and other volunteer responsibilities in his community, Jay has never wavered in his commitment to JA or his students. In fact, he is always looking for additional opportunities to contribute and has even made it a goal to personally bring the Junior Achievement curricula to every classroom from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
In Jay’s mind, volunteering is not something to be done based on spare time, it is something that should be made time for. And, as a champion for JA, he works to bring that philosophy to life for other Deloitte professionals.