Mother + Son = True Believers in Junior Achievement

Elizabeth Terrazas, president of Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest in El Paso, Texas, shared the inspiring story of high school student Zavior Alvarez, and his mother, Melissa Alvarez, who have both been positively affected by Junior Achievement. Melissa spoke recently at JA of the Desert Southwest's 2014 Business Hall of Fame event. Below is an excerpt from her speech.

I was first introduced to Junior Achievement in 2010 when they asked our school to compete in the JA Titan Challenge. Junior Achievement assigned Pete Herrera, the branch manager from Grainger, to my group of students. He would come in once a week and explain business concepts to my students such as research and development, pricing, marketing, logistics, and human capital and help them understand why companies allocate funds the way they do. His explanations helped the students understand how to divide their funds and resources in the JA Titan simulation to be profitable, competitive and successful. They were so successful, that our students won first place.

As a mother, I know that the job my son and daughter will apply for once they graduate probably doesn't even exist yet but the soft skills that Zavior obtained from Mr. Herrera are skills that employers will appreciate and skills he can continue to develop as a professional. The mock interview he participated in at a Junior Achievement event and the feedback he was given is an experience most of us do not have until we are actually in our first real job interview.

Seeing how Junior Achievement impacts students, I will continue to be an advocate for you, my peers and the pioneers in the business world, to continue giving back to our future. As a mother and as an educator, I am grateful to Junior Achievement for taking my children and my students a step closer to their futures and to reaching their career goals.

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