JA teaches alumna the power of “Yes!”

For Kaitlin Eckenrode, Junior Achievement Business Week was one of the most empowering experiences of her life.

Six years ago, Kaitlin attended her first Junior Achievement Business Week where her team won the Jamba Juice Challenge. She continued to attend JA Business Week for three consecutive years, learning valuable skills that have shaped her college and career choices.

“The skills I learned through JA Business Week have changed my life in the best ways. While some of the skills you learn may not seem relevant in high school, I’ve used many of those skills throughout my adult life. For example, when I came to JA my first summer, I didn’t know anyone and had to make friends quickly. The same thing happened when I started college. As I continue college and start my career, I find myself tapping into the networking, project management, time management skills and risk-taking skills I learned from JA.”

Kaitlin is currently a full-time college student at Arizona State University and a sales and wedding coordinator for a golf course in Phoenix. She has worked in PR for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Super Bowl, and ASU Athletics. Despite her busy schedule as a college student and young professional, Kaitlin found time to volunteer as a company advisory during JA Business Week 2018 last June.

“I volunteer for JA because I love what the organization does for students. The skills and tools you learn are relevant for life. I also was a JA scholarship recipient and I really wanted to give back.”

As Kaitlin balances her final year in college with a full-time job, she advises teenagers to seize the moment.  “I always tell high school kids to say yes to opportunities that come their way — I’ve gotten to do amazing and unique jobs in my life because JA helped give me the confidence and skills to say yes!”