Junior Achievement of Arizona Honors Local Heroes

Junior Achievement of Arizona has announced the winners of the 2022 JA Heroes awards. These awards honor those working in the local community to change the lives of the kids they work with. The winners were honored at a reception on Dec. 8 at the Savoy Opera House.  

“The heroes honored this year work tirelessly to equip kids with the essential life and career skills to pursue their passions and achieve their future goals,” said Paloma Santiago, Southern Arizona district director of Junior Achievement of Arizona. “Our volunteers and community partners have gone above and beyond to spread our mission in the community while supporting the future generation of business owners, influencers and world changers that are the children and young adults involved in Tucson’s Junior Achievement programs.”

The 2022 JA Heroes:

Teacher of the Year: Kesley Glavin, 3rd grade teacher at Prince Elementary – Glavin has provided outstanding support to Junior Achievement classroom volunteers every year for the past seven years. She goes above and beyond to ensure her students have the best Junior Achievement experience possible through active engagement and support.

Education Partner of the Year: Prince Elementary School – The school partners with Junior Achievement to offer life-changing programs to every student at their school every year. Prince students have taken part in the program for 12 years, including during the COVID-19 pandemic – participating via the virtual model. It was the first school to deliver the virtual program in Fall 2020, and the first to go back to receiving Junior Achievement in person in 2021.  

Community Partner of the Year: The Connie Hillman Family Foundation – The foundation is an outstanding organization whose generosity has ignited a wave of growth for Junior Achievement in Southern Arizona. The foundation has demonstrated commitment to the Junior Achievement mission through funding that brings programming to more schools in Tucson and marks an unprecedented opportunity for Junior Achievement kids.

Volunteer of the Year: Lesley Rodriguez – Rodriguez has shown an outstanding commitment to the Junior Achievement mission and youth during her nine years volunteering in and out of the classroom. She has worked with every grade level across the state, even continuing to be a champion for education and career readiness during 

the pandemic by volunteering virtually. When she isn’t volunteering with youth, she is advocating for Junior Achievement, sharing its mission in the community and with her colleagues at Intuit.  

Golden Apple: David Black, Courtney Broughton and Mary Jane Girard – Black, Broughton and Girard have volunteered for 10 or more years for Junior Achievement, either in the classroom, at special events, or on the board of directors. They have brought Junior Achievement to more than 1,000 students combined during their service.

These community heroes were announced during the 2022 JA Heroes event on Dec. 8. Donors, partners and members of the community were invited to meet students participating in Junior Achievement and hear stories about the impact the organization has had on young lives. Professionals, educators and influencers in the community were also in attendance, providing networking opportunities for young adults and professionals alike.

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