Because of JA
The Impact of Junior Achievement on Canisha's Life
Author: Kelsey Matzinger
Published: Monday, 01 Jan 2024
Image caption: Canisha's journey transcends personal success.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how a single experience could shape the course of your entire life? For Canisha, a JA alumni who grew up in South Carolina as the 11th of 12 kids, the answer to the question, "What do you think your life would’ve been like if you hadn’t had Junior Achievement?" is a powerful testament to the transformative influence of this organization.
Canisha's story begins in a household where neither of her parents had graduated high school. Her mom dropped out in the 11th grade, and her dad in the 6th grade. Her family faced financial struggles, but little did Canisha know, a pivotal moment awaited her during high school.
Junior Achievement entered Canisha's life when a volunteer visited her high school class. The volunteer taught her how to read stock tables, sparking a curiosity that would alter the trajectory of her future. Intrigued by this new world of possibilities, Canisha approached her parents with questions about the stock market, only to be met with the belief that it was reserved for the affluent. Undeterred, she delved into studying stock investing on her own.
Although Canisha initially aspired to become a teacher, her Junior Achievement experience continued to influence her choices. The impact was so profound that she found herself passionately studying personal investing and stock investing, ultimately steering her towards a career in finance. Today, Canisha proudly holds the position of VP-Branch Leader at Fidelity Investments.
Canisha's journey transcends personal success; it's about fulfilling a dream born from modest beginnings. Growing up without indoor plumbing, she dreamed of providing her family with a home that had this basic amenity. Her career in investing, fueled by the skills and knowledge gained through Junior Achievement, enabled her to turn this dream into a reality.
Canisha's gratitude extends beyond personal achievements. She actively supports Junior Achievement as a volunteer, board member, and donor in South Carolina. Recognizing the ripple effect of education and mentorship, Canisha emphasizes the importance of passing on these essential life skills.
In a family of 12 children, Canisha stands out as the only one to attend college. Despite the challenges, she not only pursued higher education but also achieved her dream of helping her parents build their first home in the early 2000s. The impact of Junior Achievement echoes through generations, breaking the cycle of limited opportunities.
Canisha's story is a testament to the profound influence that organizations like Junior Achievement can have on an individual's life. It highlights the power of education, mentorship, and the belief that with the right knowledge and skills, dreams can become a reality. As we reflect on Canisha's journey, we are reminded of the transformative potential within each student reached by organizations like JA, shaping not only their futures but also the futures of generations to come.