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VAN WERT, Ohio - Across the community, kids of all ages are back at school. At the same time, many businesspeople have done the same - as Junior Achievement volunteers.

Each year, more than 65 business professionals and community volunteers in the Van Wert area help students in Junior Achievement programs develop the skills they need to succeed in a competitive economy. Using their personal experiences in combination with JA's innovative, age-appropriate curriculum, these volunteers teach young people about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.

For example, second-grade students learn about government, businesses and how communities are inter-dependent in Junior Achievement's Our Community® program. JA Finance Park guides all eighth grade students at Crestview, Lincolnview, and Van Wert in developing personal financial literacy and money management skills, by delving in to budgeting, career exploration, and even retirement planning to help them learn about, and prepare for, lifelong financial issues.

"Volunteers are the heart of Junior Achievement, helping the organization empower young people to own their economic success. They inspire our children to discover their potential and find their niches in the 21st-century global marketplace," said Rob Gamble, president of JA of Van Wert. "Without volunteers' dedication and excellence, JA would not be able to provide the positive impact it has on the local community."

Junior Achievement of Van Wert is currently seeking volunteers for this year's programs. JA of Van Wert reaches over 1600 students, offers and orients volunteers on how to the user-friendly materials and work with students. Those interested in volunteering for JA of Van Wert should contact JA staff by phone at (419) 238-5500 or email at jessica.weiss@ja.org. More information can be found at www.jani.org

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provides relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

Today, JA reaches four million students per year in 124 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 119 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.