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Pleasantville JROTC High School Students Volunteer as Teachers for a Day in their Elementary School as a part of JA Leadership Development Program

Edison, NJ – December 21, 2021 – 76 Pleasantville JROTC High School Heroes taught JA of New Jersey’s (JANJ) relevant financial literacy curriculum and taught valuable life lessons to more than 400 South Main Street Elementary School students on Friday, December 3, 2021.

As JA continues to re-launch in-person High School Heroes initiatives, the faculty and student energy at South Main Street Elementary School was palpable leading up to the High School Hero student volunteers’ arrival. Elementary school students lined the hallways as music played in anticipation of their role models entering the doorways to introduce topics such as career exploration and financial literacy education. The excitement poured into 24 classes as High School Heroes taught powerful lessons for the day, empowering the young students to own their economic success.

“The lessons and activities were engaging and stimulating. The cadets were very knowledgeable about the instruction they were delivering, and the materials they were utilizing. The volunteers did a wonderful job. They connected with the class and communicated with the students effectively,” expressed Ms. Watson a 4th grade South Main Street Elementary School teacher.

As an all-encompassing solution, the JA High School Heroes initiative is designed to support New Jersey schools and educators while helping students build leadership and life skills, critical to addressing societal issues, including wealth inequality. The program helps reinforce skills taught in elementary school curriculum and offers a memorable experience for students to learn life skills necessary for future success. Serving as volunteer role models enables the Heroes to showcase their presentation skills, while teaching JA’s curriculum to local elementary school children, who in turn gain direct knowledge about the importance of an education, work ethic, and financial literacy.

The High School Heroes’ volunteer impact is meaningful, as stated by Mia, a 10th grade Pleasantville High School Hero, “This experience has helped me develop skills to be successful in my future career like leadership, collaboration, teamwork, confidence, presentation skills, teaching/coaching, patience and empathy.”

As 2021 comes to end, JANJ anticipates more opportunities to step back into the classroom and resume in-person High School Hero Days, which ensure students in New Jersey feel tied to their communities and remain hopeful about their futures. JA also continues to implement high-impact High School Heroes initiatives virtually. For Heroes, this enriching experience is a chance to bond with elementary school children and provide hands-on lessons with confidence. With the success of the High School Heroes in-person re-launch, this unique mentoring program will continue to empower the next generation with the right skills and resources vital to cultivating a community where everyone can thrive. 

To get your district and school involved: Celeste Hardrick /

To underwrite student’s participation in this life-changing leadership development experience: Ashley Donecker /


About Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ):

JANJ is an award-winning, best-in-class JA operation. With its headquarters and Capstone programs located in the JA Education Center, in Raritan Center, Edison, NJ, JANJ is a free educational resource dedicated to giving all young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success and plan for their futures. JA’s learning experiences primarily focus on career readiness, financial empowerment, entrepreneurship, and life skills, and are held at the JA Education Center, in schools, on college/university campuses, in corporate facilities, and online through digital learning experiences. For more information, visit and follow JANJ on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

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