Former Teacher Reconnects with Her Passion through JA Company Partnership

Monique Auriemma poses with classroom of kids and JA banner in background.
JA volunteer and Lockton employee, Monique Auriemma (back, right), teaches JA in a Day to an elementary school class

Monique Auriemma’s love for volunteering with Junior Achievement (JA) began in the early 1990s. She was offered the chance to teach a JA Traditional class through the insurance company where she worked, and was delighted to have an outlet where she could engage her passion: teaching kids.

A few years later Auriemma was raising children of her own and embarking on a new career path as Assistant Director at a local preschool.

Unfortunately, supporting her household on a limited salary became a stressful burden for Auriemma, especially as a single parent. As she describes it, “Life changes – I needed to get back into the corporate world; a better-paying world.” Auriemma’s friend recommended her for a position with Lockton Companies.

Auriemma was afraid that she might have to forfeit her youth-focused activities upon reentering the corporate sector. Not all companies where she worked in the past were committed to corporate responsibility and investing in the next generation.

“It definitely wasn’t a priority for many,” Auriemma says. “They might say it, but I never felt it. It wasn’t a leg we stood on.”

Lockton Companies was a stark contrast to Auriemma’s past experiences.

“When I got to Lockton, they did JA in a Day as part of their program, so I was excited that I could get back into it and enjoy it again.”

Community service is a part of the fabric that makes Lockton a great place to work, and by reengaging with JA, Auriemma found what she calls, “a perfect balance.”

“Lockton has three pillars: our clients, our associates, and our community,” Auriemma says. “JA is just a part of our company culture…People are drawn into working here because of our community service commitment. When I came into Lockton, it excited me because I could do what I wanted to do professionally while getting back into JA.”

In fact, all Lockton employees can take a paid day off every year to volunteer.

Now Auriemma is a liaison between JA and Lockton to coordinate volunteering efforts. Getting her colleagues engaged in the community doesn’t take much work, though. She says, “It’s awesome to have people who want to volunteer. It’s amazing to have the opportunity.”