Volunteer spotlight – Patty Pestell

Patty plays an important role in organizing volunteers to support our in-class programs. She works with her colleagues at HSBC to make sure that young students across Central Ontario benefit from their expertise and experience every school year.

As a Volunteer Corporate Coordinator with JA Central Ontario, Patty is responsible for helping her employer, HSBC, make a difference to young students across the region. For over four years she has worked with the JA team to connect HSBC Volunteers with schools, giving hundreds of young people the chance to benefit from our programs.

“I assist in pairing HSBC Volunteers with a JA program in their local area so they can get into the classroom and share their knowledge and experience with young students,” she explains. “Everybody who takes part in a JA Day loves it – most Volunteers ask to do it again. It’s so rewarding knowing that I’m helping organize something that benefits so many young people.”

She organizes three to four classroom days every school year, sending around 25 volunteers into local schools to inspire the next generation. And not only does Patty help her colleagues get out into classrooms to share their knowledge and expertise – she’s also volunteered in a school to teach a JA program herself.

“It was a wonderful experience,” she says. “The students were eager and enthusiastic, and it really feels like you’re making an impact on their futures. The content is so relevant, too. Understanding budgeting and income, creating a business plan, learning about loans – these are all life skills that you need in the real world as you get older. JA Central Ontario has the reach, reputation and programs to teach these important skills to a large number of students, and I’m proud to be part of that.”