“I do not have a background in Business; Will I have anything worth telling these kids about managing finance or gaining entrepreneurship skills?”, I asked Paloma, the volunteer co-ordinator at the Junior Achievement Program. We were at a Starbucks for my Volunteer training with another trainee who is an entrepreneur herself. “I am just an Engineer”, I added, meekly.
“Just an ‘Engineer’? You know how hard it is to become one? Kids will be impressed to learn about college and your experience as a student. At their age they wouldn’t have had much exposure beyond their homes and school. Remember, you will be teaching at a diverse school where the students come from all walks of life and different economic backgrounds. And being an Engineer you must surely be good at math.”
“Well, that was a long time back. Now the most Math I do is count the number of sheep with my daughter from her numbers book.”
Kind and confident that she is, Paloma brushed aside any other doubts in my head about my ability to teach first graders. After an hour’s training about how to conduct a class, now I’m officially a Junior Achievement Volunteer Teacher. Soon, I’ll be teaching a 5hr course in Financial Literacy spread over 2 months to a bunch of 6 to 7 year olds for which I’ll be provided with teaching material. I’m giddy with excitement about the new door that has opened for me. For this ‘ll always be grateful to my friend Vandana, who told me about this opportunity.
I do not worry about teaching Kids the importance of Budgeting and weighing their options before spending money. Those are some of the things I believe I’m really good at. I just fret about having to speak in front of a crowd even though that crowd will mostly be made up of 6 year olds. But I know something about the above-mentioned “Door of Opportunity”. You don’t come across one easily. With a relentless determination you have to set out looking for one. I’ve waited a long time for something this meaningful and true to my nature to open up. All I know is I’ll be giving it my best shot and trying to enjoy the process because preparing for the class won’t be easy. And speaking in front of one? I won’t even think about it!