JAM Fest: Creating the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
PROPEL kicked off its revamped In Focus Series on October 4, 2016 during its second annual JAM Fest South at Portland House of Music and Events with Junior of Achievement of Maine (JA of Maine). JA of Maine is the first organization being featured in the series. JA of Maine teaches K-12 students the skills they will need to succeed as adults, including financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. They achieve their goal of creating a stronger economic future for all Mainers by matching volunteers from Maine's business community with classrooms across the state; in the past year they reached about 11,000 Maine students. JA of Maine's programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
During the event, JA of Maine shared their mission and honored their volunteers. Tammy Phillips of IDEXX Laboratories received JA of Maine's 2015-2016 Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedication to empowering and inspiring Maine students to succeed in a global economy. The event was catered by the amazing Fork Food Lab and their members Bruno's Restaurant and Tavern, Have Chef Will Travel, The Marshmallow Cart, Fat Pants Bakery, LLC, and Expat. Portland's own Model Airplane brought the funk, ending the night with music and dancing. At the event PROPEL members also signed up to volunteer with JA of Maine.
JA of Maine relies on two things to do its important work: Donations from the business community, and a "volunteer army" of professionals who teach JA lessons in the classroom. They provides volunteers with training and materials to become classroom volunteers in schools throughout Maine. Serving as role models and links to the community, classroom volunteers make economic concepts relevant, raise aspirations, and challenge the students to excel. To learn more about volunteering with JA of Maine contact Zoe Hull, PROPEL's Community Engagement Coordinator by filling out the below contact form: