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JA Thanks Hero for Memorial Day


Junior Achievement likes to think of all of our volunteers as heroes , but it is really special when a true hero walks into a classroom with JA. Every day, men and women risk their lives to preserve the values our nation holds dear. It is very special when they also volunteer their time to empower the future.Recently, Captain Anh-Vu Nguyen with the United Stated Air Force volunteered in Mrs. Ann Nickell?s third grade classroom at Wylie Intermediate School. Captain Nguyen had never been in a classroom with Junior Achievement and learned from the experience that "kids are very bright and full of creative ideas and dreams. The kids? reactions to the JA activities were very positive. They had a lot of fun and were actually able to internalize a lot of the lessons that were taught." One example of this is when the kids struggled with the definition of "entrepreneur" upon the initial challenge, but 100% of the students were able to provide the definition verbatim following the lesson.Mrs. Nickell, in her twenty-second year at Wylie (and no stranger to having Junior Achievement in her classroom), said that the kids were excited as soon as they saw Captain Nguyen, a B-1 pilot, in uniform. His good-humor, interest in the kids, and ability to communicate well made him a very enjoyable and effective communicator. Mrs. Nickell stated that "with a JA volunteer, students have a new face in front of them. They can expect and receive a different type of instruction, information, and energy from the volunteer. It?s new, interesting, and fun for the students." She found this especially true with Captain Nguyen.When asked about his experience and whether he gained a better appreciation of teachers, he insinuated that they be considered the true hero: "My takeaway from this experience with JA is that every single kid has the desire to learn. I believe that with the right teacher, every student?s potential can be brought to the highest level. Being an educator is a very difficult job. Trying to keep the students focused and motivated while preparing them to perform at a specific level is no simple task, especially day in and day out. Being a teacher requires commitment. The experience with JA gave me more appreciation as to the job that they do. Mrs. Nickell was extremely helpful. She would help ?translate? my instructions into a language that the students would understand. She kept the kids in-line, focused, and on a structured time schedule."Perhaps there are many ways to be a hero. This Memorial Day, be sure to thank the heroes in your life. As for Captain Nguyen, you represent the best of the heroes Junior Achievement of Abilene is proud to call our volunteer base. Thank you for your service to our country! Thank you for empowering the future.

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