Katy Alkins-Jang, Economics for Success Volunteer, Vancouver
Q: Tell us about yourself
A: I was born in NorthBay, Ontario and now live in Burnaby, British Columbia with my Husband and two children. I am in my 35th year with TELUS and currently a Manager of Client Service Management. I support a team of 11 Client Service Managers and 38 Enterprise Customers in British Columbia. In addition, I sit on TELUS’ Diversity and Inclusiveness Council. I serve as a Commissioner on the Burnaby City Parks Recreation and Cultural Commission and Planning Advisory Commission and am a past member on the Burnaby Library Board.
Q: How did you first get involved with Junior Achievement?
A: A co-worker mentioned the program. At the time my children were both in the public school system and I was active in the PAC’s. I felt it was another way to support our youth.
Q: How important do you think having a JA volunteer in the classroom is to the program?
A: I feel the JA programs and the volunteers are an important part of the overall educational experience and life skills prep for young people. Apart from the program, the volunteers bring their own personal experiences and network to the classroom to highlight the importance of the connections created through networking and volunteerism.
Q: What impact do you think JA has on young people?
A: I believe Junior Achievement provides a good foundational understanding of finance and economics. It is also an excellent complimentary program to career development preparation programs within the school system.
Q: Can you share a special moment you have had while volunteering for JA?
A: There is not one particular moment but I think every experience has been unique and equally rewarding. I am constantly humbled by the talent and focus of our youth.
Q: What piece of advice would you give a new JA volunteer prior to delivering a program?
A: Preparation and confidence are key and a sense of humour helps. Connect with your partner ahead of time and leverage each other’s skills and strengths. Don’t underestimate the power of gifts. I often come equipped with goodies to encourage participation. A little goes a long way and engagement is infectious!