By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Junior Achievement of Oklahoma (JA) has announced that John Koons, OG&E Community Relations Coordinator, has been chosen as one of 11 recipients of the organization’s most prestigious national award for volunteerism, the Gold Leadership Award. A truly special recognition, Koons was selected from more than 237,000 U.S. volunteers.
Koons will be honored on Tuesday, March 7, at the Junior Achievement USA® (JA USA) Volunteer Summit, a celebration that will be held at The Paley Center in New York City.
Junior Achievement’s Gold Leadership Award honors volunteer excellence, presented in recognition of leadership in supporting and expanding JA’s student impact, resources, operational excellence and sustainability. The Gold Leadership Awards also honor the recipients’ JA volunteer service during the 2015-16 school year.
Junior Achievement’s Volunteer Summit will convene with the JA USA board of directors and national staff, and local JA leaders and chairpersons.
“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 Shannan Beeler, President of Junior Achievement of Oklahoma.
“John Koons, is a remarkable example of that spirit of dedication and service to others,” Beeler continued. “In a very real way, he helps OKC-area JA students get the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.”
In 2015, The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence honored Koons with the Outstanding Mentor Award from the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative for his work with Junior Achievement in both traditional classroom settings and through the organization’s JA in a Day program.
Junior Achievement’s entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness programs are delivered nationwide to students from kindergarten through high school by volunteer role models from the local business community.
“John started volunteering for JA in 1986,” said Jo Wise, OKC Regional Director. “There is no way of knowing exactly how many Oklahoma City area students he has impacted over the years, but it is most certainly in the thousands.
“He has also served as the chairman of the board in the Oklahoma City Region, sits on the Junior Achievement Program Committee, does public speaking on JA’s behalf, and inspires countless others to volunteer in the classroom.
“We can’t imagine Junior Achievement in the Oklahoma City area without John Koons,” Wise added.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to achieve economic success.
During the 2015-16 school year, Junior Achievement of Oklahoma reached 56,243 K-12th grade students through 4,011 volunteers.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact the Oklahoma City office at 405-235-3399. For more information, visit www.ja.org.