VOLUNTEER CONDUCT STANDARDS
Each year Junior Achievement staff shall convey these standards in writing to all volunteers prior to their first visit to the classroom. Staff shall review these standards verbally, as well, with volunteers teaching for the first time.
Junior Achievement (JA) serves youth. JA volunteers teach valuable lessons in their program delivery and especially in their conduct with students. Adult misconduct with or in the presence of youth carries serious consequences and because Junior Achievement cares that its volunteers have healthy, appropriate relationships with the youth they serve, it has established these standards.
1. Young people look to adults for examples of appropriate behavior. JA volunteers must use appropriate language and model honorable behavior, such as respect, integrity, honesty, and excellence. Profanity or sexualized language or jokes are inappropriate around students, regardless whether it occurs face-to-face, over the Internet, or by any other means. JA strictly forbids violating any state law regarding interactions with youth, e.g., providing them alcohol or legal or illegal drugs, or coaxing them into illicit relationships over the Internet or otherwise..
2. Volunteers must take particular care when touching youth. Most people understand the difference between appropriate Physical contact such as a handshake or pat on the back, and contact that is sexual or disrespectful. Volunteers also must be cognizant of how any physical contact may be perceived.
3. Interactions with students must both be appropriate and appear appropriate. It is expected that volunteers’ interactions with students are at all times appropriate and professional, and are strictly related to the role of business mentor. It is unacceptable to seek or engage in one-to-one meetings with students at any time. Occasionally one-to-one situations may occur but prior to any one-to-one interaction, a JA volunteer generally should ensure another adult is present or aware of the situation. Favoritism, or the appearance of favoritism, should be avoided.
4. Volunteers are responsible for the quality of interactions. Students often find it difficult to state discomfort or objections. Volunteers must be especially sensitive to physical and verbal cues that youth provide.
The aforementioned standards do not represent a comprehensive list. Other actions not included could result in suspension or dismissal as a volunteer. JA volunteers also must read and comply with JA’s Social Media Policy.
Junior Achievement takes all complaints of misconduct seriously. Credible allegations of misconduct will be promptly investigated by the appropriate authorities. During any such investigation, the JA volunteer will be placed on leave. If an investigation determines misconduct occurred, it will result in the immediate and permanent dismissal as a JA volunteer.
Any JA staff member or volunteer who reasonably suspects misconduct must report these suspicions immediately to the appropriate JA staff person at the local JA area office.