Author: Cassie Benzinger
Published: Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014
"As a Junior Achievement volunteer and mentor, Raquel is generous with her time and enthusiastic and passionate about bringing out the very best in the young people she volunteers with at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School. She's no stranger to going above and beyond to boost the confidence and knowledge of kids in her care by pushing them to perform to the best of their ability in all situations."-Joseph Peri, President
Junior Achievement of New York
JA volunteer Raquel Hoffman exemplifies what it means to be a committed and enthusiastic supporter of Junior Achievement of New York. Raquel is a Senior Associate of Business Development and Account Management in the Client Strategy Network at PwC. Raquel has been volunteering with Junior Achievement of New York since the fall of 2009. She is a passionate and loyal champion of JA programs and has always gone out of her way to make Junior Achievement an important part of her workweek.
"I have always loved volunteering and have always made it a point to make room and time for it in my life. Over the years, I learned that I truly enjoyed working with children the most," she said. "The minute I received an email at work describing JA as an organization and the various volunteering opportunities, I jumped at the chance to volunteer with this cause, so I signed up."
Raquel has taught JA programs through JA in a Day events, weekly JA volunteer commitments and by coaching student participants in the JA New York Business Plan Competition.
"I truly believe that any change we want to see in this world starts with our children. JA is an extraordinary example of an organization that fosters financial literacy and entrepreneurship with creativity and innovation. Not only does it excel in its curriculum, but it makes it fun, enjoyable, and easy for the students to relate to it."
During the 2012-2013 school year, Raquel's commitment to her JA Business Plan Competition students went far beyond the standard six-session commitment that JA asks of its?volunteers. Raquel devoted many extra hours to help her student teams prepare to compete in the quarterfinal and semi-final rounds. She even used her personal time off work to provide her students with extra coaching and dress rehearsal to improve their winning chance. What inspires Raquel to return as a volunteer with Junior Achievement is the inspiration she experiences through watching young people learn and become invested in their own success.
"I've seen the positive impact and change of JA on students over the course of the curriculum," Raquel said. "It inspires me to return over and over again in the hopes of making a difference, no matter how minimal, in another students life."
During the 2013-2014 school year, Raquel taught a weekly JA college readiness class at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School. In response to a number of students feeling intimidated by the college and financial aid application process, she personally developed a comprehensive information packet of resources, checklists and tips to help guide them through the process.
"Succeeding in life isn't all just about your grade point average (GPA), it is also about the activities and interests you have outside of the classroom that inspire and motivate you to become a better person. It is the journey thats the true measure of ones character," Raquel concluded.
To date Raquel has positively influenced and encouraged more than 130 elementary and high school students to take responsibility for their academic and life achievements. Thank you for your dedication and support for Junior Achievement Raquel!
Junior Achievement Student
"Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."
Junior Achievement Student
"I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."