Partner Profile: DIRECTV

This school year, JA-Rocky Mountain and DIRECTV formed a mutually beneficial and holistic partnership that has already engaged more than 100 DIRECTV employees in making a difference for thousands of local students.

Ed Balcerzak, SVP of Customer Service for DIRECTV, joined the JA-Rocky Mountain Board of Directors in 2013, and has lead the company’s charge, ultimately ensuring that DIRECTV has become involved in nearly every aspect of JA programming, from participating in special events to volunteerism in every capacity! As a member of the JA Communications & High Tech Industry Challenge, DIRECTV was determined to do their part in reaching more Colorado students through JA this year.

DIRECTV employees directly impacted more than 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students by participating in two JA in a Day events at Peakview and Eiber Elementary, and volunteering at JA Finance Park. Additionally, DIRECTV hosted a JA Job Shadow event for students from Ponderosa High School at the DIRECTV Castle Rock Broadcasting Center. Students who attended this exciting opportunity were treated to a special tour of the facility, and learned about the variety of career options available to them in the communications industry.

“Our Job Shadow at DIRECTV stands among the top events of our entire school year. The students are still talking about it, and many seniors have decided to pursue higher education based on the information they received during the field trip. I received multiple emails from parents explaining that their student had not been that excited about a school event since field day in elementary! The staff was knowledgeable, friendly and very relatable. Students really loved the board room, video conferencing, as it really brought our classroom curriculum into a real world focus. Ponderosa is hoping to be able to continue this partnership for years to come!” – Courtney Tanguma, Ponderosa High School

DIRECTV knows how to get the ball rolling for Colorado kids! The company went from recruiting five teams for the 2013 JA Bowl-A-Thon to 25 teams in 2014, ultimately raising over $50,000 to help ensure Colorado’s kids are equipped with the skills to own their future economic success! In fact, DIRECTV  recently earned the 2014 “300 award,” which recognizes the company who has the largest total fundraising increase.

DIRECTV’s partnership with JA Rocky Mountain has also spurred other DIRECTV locations to engage with JA operations in Los Angeles, California; Boise, Idaho; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Huntington, West Virginia; Huntsville, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Dallas, Texas. To date, several of these JA offices have engaged DIRECTV employees through special events, secured corporate sponsorships to fund local JA programs and engaged over 65 classroom volunteers!  DIRECTV is also helping JA recruit additional volunteers by running Public Service Announcements on their Root Sports channels in the Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh markets.

JA was also honored to be selected as a 2014 beneficiary to the DIRECTV Charity Golf Tournament, proceeds of which will continue to help us empower more local students own their future economic success. Thank you, DIRECTV, for all you do to make our community a better place!

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