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charity, education, Junior Achievement, nonprofit, philanthropy

My Year of Hopefulness – More Teaching with Junior Achievement

There are few days that I felt as nervous as I did teaching my Junior Achievement class in the South Bronx. It was the first Friday of December 2008 and I received the day off from work to teach Economics to 7th graders at Middle School (MS) 223. This school is just down the street from St. Anne’s, the church featured in Jonathan Kozol’s books describing the Mott Haven neighborhood. Mott Haven is one of the most violent, drug addicted areas of this country. It is ground zero for the war on poverty. 

In MS 223, I felt like I was making a difference to kids who needed role models but what struck me so suddenly was that those kids and teachers had a tremendous impact on me. 20 minutes away by subway from my safe, beautiful Upper West Side neighborhood I found a completely different New York. Many of the students I met that day have never been outside of their own neighborhood. They know that there is something more to the world than the South Bronx but they don’t know if they’ll ever get to see it save for watching it on TV. That one cold day in December changed the way that I looked at this city, and it changed the way I saw my life playing out. 

I was thrilled to get an email at work today from Junior Achievement about an opportunity to teach Corporate Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility at the High School of Economics and Finance. While not in the South Bronx, it’s a subject matter that is very dear to me because of my link to the nonprofit world. It’s steps away from my office building and for an hour a week for seven weeks this Spring, I will get to teach high school students about a subject that I am passionate about. It’s opportunities like this that really make a difference – as much to my life as to the lives of the children I’m teaching. It’s this sharing of knowledge, and the recognition in someone else’s eyes that something you just said clicked for them, that makes our days worthwhile.     

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


One thought on “My Year of Hopefulness – More Teaching with Junior Achievement

  1. Good luck


    Posted by runner52 | January 30, 2009, 7:54 am

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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