Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (JAMGL) recently honored long-time volunteer Steve Carlson for forty (40) years of volunteer service to JA. “While JA touts a proven curriculum and materials, the key connection for our students is with our volunteers and their delivery of our programs,” said William Coderre, JAMGL President & CEO. “Steve, has spent the past forty years tirelessly giving of his time and talent to our students as a classroom volunteer, as a committee member and as a JAMGL board member. Today we are proud to honor Steve’s service to our organization and thank him for his contributions.”
Carlson began volunteering for Junior Achievement in 1980 and since that time has volunteered in over 85 classrooms in the greater Grand Rapids area impacting approximately 2,000 students. “I volunteer to pay it back and pay it forward,” said Carlson. “I specifically remember my JA Company advisors from Old Kent bank in 1971 when I was in high school. I was given an experience in high school that paid dividends throughout my college years and I even used the skills and concepts during my career in aerospace.”
While Carlson has spent considerable time delivering the JA Company and JA Job Shadow programs in area high schools, he also has a history of providing programming at all levels of the elementary school. “I still volunteer because it’s fun!! Whether you’re getting smiles and hugs from
elementary students for teaching them about money and donut making, or seeing the light bulb switch on for middle and high school students when they get a concept of personal finance or international trade, you get to have as much fun as the students do,” said Carlson. He was honored by JAMGL as the first Volunteer of the Year recipient in 1999-2000 for his exemplary contributions to the organization.
Additionally, Carlson has spent time serving as a board member on the Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes board of directors and a local contributor to the JA Bowl-A-Thon committee, actively securing financial resources that get put back into area Grand Rapids classrooms.