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Student Ambassador and 2005-2006 Student of the Year Awardee

Boris Mahakhimov JA New York interviews John Dewey high school senior, Boris Mahakhimov.

Congratulations Boris, you were nominated and received the 2005-2006 Student of the Year Award. What does this award mean to you and in what way has it inspired you to want to achieve more?

When I first got involved with Junior Achievement, the last thing on my mind was the thought of winning an award. The reward for me was the ability to associate with the movers and shakers of the New York City business and economic world. Over the course of one year, I have met influential people from various industries I am interested in. The JA New York Student of the Year Award just made my JA experience that much better; because it proves that I have been a part of something significant. It will always remind me of the benefits I have received from my JA experience. I look forward to being able to give back to JA in later years.

What do you consider to be the core values of the Junior Achievement program? How do you reflect these values in school and out of school?

The core value of Junior Achievement is it’s mission¬†which is focused on developing potential in young people. JA helps you to understand that collective success requires a community commitment. Everyone has to contribute. Whether you are 16 or 60 you can inspire someone to do better – to be successful at what they do.

How has JA New York had an impact on your future career interests?

As I referenced earlier, as a result of my participation in the JA New York Student Ambassador program, I have had the opportunity to meet, network with and shadow professionals in every work place that I can imagine myself working in, in the not too distant future. For example, I have shadowed an Assistant District Attorney, a New York Stock Exchange trader, a radio talk show host and others. I have also attended gala events attended by Fortune 500 business and industry leaders, These experiences have helped me see what it takes to develop a great career and keep it. I feel like it’s given me a head start for a successful future. JA really opened my mind to the world and I plan to use what I learned from my JA experiences in the near future.

What other benefits are there to being a participant in Junior Achievement programs?

While the biggest benefit is meeting influential people, there is also the benefit of giving back. You become a part of a big organization that is concentrated on giving back and there is nothing better then the feeling that you get after doing something good for your community. I have participated in multiple High School Hero events where we teach the JA curriculum to elementary school students in our communities. Every time that I leave a classroom I feel like I have accomplished something that will not be soon forgotten. And that’s a feeling that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

What advice would you give to other students who have an interest in participating in Junior Achievement programs?

Stop thinking and sign up today! If your school doesn’t have the program, jumpstart a JA New York High School Hero youth volunteer initiative in your school. There are so many things you can accomplish with the help of JA. Tell the teachers in your school to contact your local J.A. Office today and start participating in the range of programs JA has to offer. Just don’t waste time. Let JA help you to maximize your potential and your opportunities. You definitely do not want to miss out on this experience!