Junior Achievement Volunteer Receives Top National Honor

March 24, 2022 | News & Events

Kentuckiana business leader wins Junior Achievement’s top volunteer leadership award for empowering students to own their economic success

Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana (JA) is pleased to announce the winner of our Gold Leadership Award, Ann Leonard. 

Junior Achievement’s Gold Leadership Award honors volunteer excellence.  The award recognizes leadership in supporting and expanding JA’s student impact, resources, operational excellence and sustainability.

“Our local business community’s support of JA is critical to achieving our mission, to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy,” said Jennifer Helgeson, President of Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana. “Ann Leonard, Chief Financial Officer at DDW, the Color House, is a remarkable example of the dedication and service to others. In a very real way, she makes sure our region’s JA students attain the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.”

During her tenure as Board Chair, Ann led the Board to seek a role in the 3DE pilot, which involved securing $1 million in additional funding.  Her entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering support and encouragement of staff empowered the team secure the opportunity and funding needed.  3DE Schools by Junior Achievement re-engineers high school education to be more relevant, experiential, and authentically-connected to the complexities of the real world in order to prepare today’s students for the demands of tomorrow’s economy.

The program brings real-world problem-solving representing real workplace challenges into the everyday academic experience. Results from the 3DE Atlanta, Georgia pilot prove that 3DE increases student engagement, strengthens comprehension, builds critical thinking and accelerates academic performance.  3DE has launched locally in two of Jefferson County Public Schools’ Academies of Louisville – The Academy at Shawnee and Valley High School with plans for expansion over the next three years.   Ann also serves as a local JA board member, a volunteer position she has held since 2010.

Junior Achievement’s entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness learning modules implemented nationwide—typically in classrooms during the school day, by volunteer role models from the local business community.