2022 Volunteer, Educator & Advocate of the Year

Each year, Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain (JA) names one person or organization Volunteer, Educator and Advocate of the Year. The recipient is hand-selected by JA staff members in recognition of their extraordinary breadth of advocacy activities for JA, from their promotion of JA’s mission, to their willingness to go above and beyond to ensure a positive and powerful experience for JA students. We’re excited to announce this year’s winners:

JA Volunteer of the Year: Tanya Apel
Tanya is an amazing volunteer and advocate for JA. She began volunteering with the organization 21 years ago and has taught over 2,500 students in 99 classes! Students and teachers love her and she is always willing to help when JA has volunteer needs. After COVID 19 restrictions lifted this school year, Tanya was quick to jump back in and get involved. Tanya keeps very busy working at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, yet continues to make time for volunteering. This past school year she provided tremendous volunteer support at JA Stock Market Challenge and JA Finance Park, in addition to teaching programs in 6 different elementary school classrooms. We are happy to bring attention to Tanya’s selfless dedication and thank her for the impact she’s making for students in the community.

JA Educator of the Year: Gabby Schauer
Gabby began teaching 16 years ago and has been at Blevins Middle school in northern Colorado for the past 11 years. During those 11 years, she has assisted in coordinating field trips to JA Finance Park, and even makes the drive down to Thornton in a bus full of 8th graders. Blevins Middle School’s trip to JA Finance Park is usually scheduled for late May, and although it’s the end of the school year, her students always show up engaged and ready to learn. Gabby is the driving force behind that engagement. As a social studies teacher, she is great at working the financial literacy content into the curriculum plan for the year, and helping students understand the real world applications. Gabby recognizes the importance of the lessons and is dedicated to creating a great learning experience for her students. In the 2020-2021 school year, she went above and beyond to make sure that all her students were able to participate, whether they were at school in-person or virtually. Next year she will be transitioning to a brand new school in the Poudre district, where we hope to continue our partnership with Gabby . All of us at JA appreciate Gabby and the incredible work she’s doing in northern Colorado.

JA Advocate of the Year: Becky Holden

Becky has been working with JA for 20+ years providing video production services for the organization. She’s not only responsible for capturing the fascinating life stories of the Colorado Business Hall of Fame inductees, but she’s also curated and produced countless other videos for JA highlighting things such as student programming, fundraising events, PBS specials, and more. Becky has also volunteered at a past student event, JA Business Week, where she was able to share her experiences as a female small business owner with high school students interested in entrepreneurship. Becky is kind, thoughtful, and generous. She makes each person she works with feel completely at ease. Becky is passionate about her work with JA and the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. She recently shared that working with our laureates and telling their stories has been one of the greatest honors of her life. Everyone at JA is excited to recognize and thank Becky for her work and for helping spread the JA story throughout the community.