JA Bowl-A-Thon Coordinator Finds Unique Way to Impact Future

Serena Valdivia

Supporting JA students doesn’t mean that you have to present JA programs in the classroom or volunteer at JA Finance Park. There are many ways to lend your skills and talents to helping young people develop a passion for financial literacy and self-sufficiency.

For Serena Valdivia, market manager for TCF Bank, that opportunity comes in the form of the JA Bowl-A-Thon. For more than five years, Serena has raised money for JA via the JA Bowl-A-Thon and during the last two years, she has volunteered as  TCF Bank’s JA Bowl-A-Thon coordinator.

“I like helping our youth and I think that JA does a really good job of getting students involved and interested in thinking about their futures,” said Serena.

Sample school house sold by TCF’s branch offices

Serena encourages bowlers to have fun; this year they hosted a funny hat contest as part of their event, and winning team members received gift cards. Each year the contests change, but the competition and excitement is guaranteed. Serena’s leadership makes a difference. This past May, TCF Bank raised $13,400, which will help bring JA programming to more than 300 students!

“Being a great JA Bowl-A-Thon coordinator is a ton of work, and Serena is one of those coordinators who makes it look easy,” said Blake Meikle, JA special events manager. “Serena is engaging and diligent in her efforts to do a great job for JA. Thanks to her efforts and that of TCF’s bowlers, TCF Bank employees raised $4,000 more than they did in 2017.”

Another way that TCF Bank employees raise money for JA is through their “JA Schoolhouses” in each of the bank branch locations. Customers who visit the banks make a donation for a JA Schoolhouse, which then has their name on it and is displayed in the bank.