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Letter: Change a life
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Letter: Change a life

In 2020, our community of students faced unprecedented changes in learning. Junior Achievement moved quickly to remote volunteer opportunities and created digital assets to meet students where they were. These assets will continue to be used to expand learning experiences. However, in-person volunteer opportunities were missed by students.

The effects of COVID-19 have become more apparent as we come out of the pandemic. A new survey of teens conducted for Junior Achievement by the research firm ENGINE Insights shows that nearly two in five feel they are behind educationally because of the pandemic. Of those, beyond a third feel they are behind permanently.

The survey also found, in addition to attending school in-person and interacting with other students and teachers, 34% need "emotional support" from teachers, parents, counselors, and other caring adults to help their "mental well-being," as well as more individual attention.

Junior Achievement's dedicated network of diverse community volunteers help provide that extra support students are seeking. Our educators see the value of JA and are working towards a platform of equity, requiring even more volunteers. Today, I ask for your help so every student has the opportunity to participate.

Volunteering in the classroom has never been so important. Kindergarten through high school students need your help building skills to be productive, community-minded citizens. Given a sense of purpose and belief in themselves, the boundaries are limitless for young people. By committing to just 45 minutes for five weeks, you can change a life today.

Visit www.jaheartland.org/volunteers.

Dougal Nelson

President & CEO of Junior Achievement

Moline

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