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Community Partnership

Champion for Community

Suzy Hayward, Louisville Region

Serving as a Junior Achievement "Corporate Champion"

As a Junior Achievement (JA) volunteer, Mortgage Loan Originator Suzy Hayward goes well beyond her personal commitment to teaching JA classes. She is also the “cheerleader” who recruits Old National co-workers to volunteer, coordinating their efforts and enabling them to experience the value of JA.

JA empowers young people to own their economic success, by providing programs and classes that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills. As a five-year JA volunteer, Suzy teaches classes to third graders at Wilder Elementary School. She was also the person who first recruited, and now annually coordinates, a group of Old National volunteers who teach eight JA “Done in a Day” classes to third and fourth graders at Rutherford Elementary. Rutherford is a school with an at-risk student population, and a total of 10 to 15 Old National volunteers reach out to about 200 students there over a one- or two-day period each year.

Suzy explains that the JA program is designed to encourage youth to think about what “makes their city run.” Students become “business owners” and make decisions – about employees, advertising, locations and more – that impact the profitability of their company. They also learn how to complete a deposit ticket, write a check and balance a checkbook.

At first, Suzy found it challenging to recruit volunteers for the JA program at Rutherford Elementary. “The first few years, I had to beg people to go speak to the children,” she says. “Now it is no problem getting the staff needed to reach all of the kids. We have people from across all of Old National’s lines of business, and all levels of seniority, participating in this experience. Most all have learned, as have I, that serving through JA is just as rewarding for us as individuals as it is for the children we serve.”

Suzy, who has been recognized by JA as a Corporate Champion for her efforts at Rutherford Elementary, says, “I have no idea what any of these students go home to after school, but I do know that while they are with me they are learning and having fun. Old National has made such an impact at these schools. The students expect us and look forward to us coming each year!”