At Atlas Air Worldwide, we have a responsibility for the world in which we operate, and that includes supporting our local communities. Recently, a group of Atlas colleagues volunteered to support the development of the future talent pipeline through Junior Achievement’s Career Speakers Series.
For Atlas Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Spencer Schwartz, who serves on Junior Achievement of New York’s Lower Hudson Valley Advisory Board, the annual Career Speakers Series is an opportunity to connect with elementary school students to share experiences that will help them prepare for success.
“This year, Yonkers, N.Y. students from second to sixth grade met with Atlas employees in various roles, from diverse backgrounds, who opened up a world of possibilities for the students as they begin to think about their futures,” Spencer said. “I was amazed by the tremendous response from our colleagues who volunteered to speak to the students. It is inspiring to see the spark of curiosity and interest that develops in students as they engage with these dedicated professionals.”
Mike Ragusa, Senior Director, Business Resiliency at Atlas, says he was prompted to volunteer this year (for the tenth year in a row!) because he knows the value of sharing insights and personal stories to empower young.
“Growing up as a child of immigrant parents, I didn’t have the opportunity at an early age to learn about the economy, job skills, interviewing, and a whole host of other financial literacy topics in school,” Mike explained. “When Spencer explained what the Junior Achievement program was about, it was important to me to participate.”
“The students were truly engaged and inspired by the stories and experiences that members of the Atlas team shared,” said Catherine Danyko-Sage, Director, Lower Hudson Valley Operations for Junior Achievement of New York. “The Atlas team really connected with students in the virtual setting to create a spectacular event.”
Ana Martinez, Director, Continuous Improvement, agreed. “It was clear by the questions the students asked, that the session was important to them.” She added, “I appreciated the opportunity to share my background and how important it is to find your passion and work to turn that into a career. I wanted them to understand that if I was able to do it, they can too!”
For J.C. Nolan, Senior Director of Intelligence & Security, the time with the students went by way too quickly. “I volunteered for the Junior Achievement event because I have always been passionate about education. To see how engaged the students were during our presentations was truly a joy,” he said. “I am so grateful to Spencer and the Leadership Team for making this event possible. While it may have looked different than previous years because of the virtual environment, I believe the impact was the same. It was a very proud moment for me to represent Atlas and it made me reflect on how thankful I am to be part of the Atlas family.”