Working with Junior Achievement

Eller PDC Student Stories

Matthew Ellerd is the JA Day Coordinator for Eller. He is currently in the evening cohort studying business administration while also working on an associate’s degree in criminal justice at Pima and pursuing a physical security professional board certification through ASIS. His hobbies include reading and learning new things.


How would you describe what Junior Achievement is to students who do not know?


Junior Achievement is a program that focuses on schools in low-income areas and shows young children what a business professional is and why it’s important to stay in school and to go to college. The high school dropout rate in Arizona is very high, but students who go through JA courses are 20-30% more likely to stay in high school. The program runs on donations and volunteers and Eller dedicates one day each semester to JA. It’s a way for Eller business professional students to become a mentor to these young children for a day.

How did you get involved with JA?

I had always wanted to be a teacher but there is no money in the education field. I love working with kids and showing them what opportunities are out there. One semester I saw a posting for it and have done JA ever since (for a total of ten times to date).

What do you like about working with JA?

The kids. Absolutely. They’re a ton of fun. They surprise you every time you go in, and the way they understand what you are telling them shows that they can really make it to the college level some day. They just need some guidance.

How can Eller students be involved?

Just take one day out of the semester and volunteer. These children are going to remember the concepts you teach and they’ll remember you. It really makes a difference.