Meet Will Abbott, an Artichoke alumni on a mission to give Arizona’s youth the tools they need to succeed!
Abbott is the Vice President of Development at Junior Achievement of Arizona (JAAZ), a Tempe-based nonprofit that works to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. At JAAZ, volunteer mentors from the community teach students about the importance of money management, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurial thinking. Providing this kind of critical education at a young age aims to prepare the next generation for a future with more financial stability, a better-trained workforce, and a more robust economy.
In his role, Abbott manages and secures funding to enable the organization to expand its reach and impact to more children in the community. “Building genuine relationships with these individuals is immensely rewarding,” he says. “Working with people from different walks of life adds a dynamic element to my job, and the common thread through it all is our shared mission to positively impact the lives of children in our community.”
Pointing to his time at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) as a training ground for the skills he would later use at JAAZ, Abbott says, “My involvement in the student government at SCC provided a platform to volunteer, work with diverse people, and understand organizational structures. The guidance and support from SCC staff and advisers were invaluable, and it created a lasting impact on my personal and professional development.”
Abbott’s career in the nonprofit sector began with a humble internship through the Boy Scouts of America. “This experience opened my eyes to the fulfillment and joy of building relationships, achieving goals, and learning about the nonprofit sector. The opportunity to make a meaningful impact and sample various industries within our community has kept me hooked on this incredibly fulfilling career path.”
As someone who has turned the interests and skills he developed at SCC into a fruitful career, Abbott offers some helpful guidance to current students:
“Keep pursuing your dreams, understanding that success takes time, persistence, and a continuous commitment to your goals. And, if you're looking to explore career opportunities and answer the big question, ‘What do you want to do with the rest of your life?’ check out our statewide virtual career exploration tool, JA Inspire. As one of the leading organizations in work readiness, our interactive career exploration tool offers several assessments to guide you in exploring different career paths that match your skill sets and interests. It's the perfect place to discover exciting career possibilities!”
“I am forever grateful to the SCC staff who poured their time, talent, and belief in me.”
To learn more about Abbott and his work, check out www.jaaz.org.