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Junior Achievement volunteers

Junior Achievement volunteers, from left, Jack McAdam, Matthew Francois, Christine Smalley, Don DeSalvio, Nick Sawchuck and Carl Gagnon offered students insights on cellphones.

By Jack McAdam and Jesseca Steele

Photo: Jesseca Steele

Volunteers with Junior Achievement of Maine recently visited Sanford High School to talk with sophomores about a touchy subject: cellphones in the workplace.

Students in 10 classrooms were asked to think about how they use their phones now and how they imagine employers might want phones to be used, or not used, at work. Volunteers went over cellphone do’s and don’ts and explained the importance of following workplace rules related to cellphones.

Volunteers offered three activities for students: brainstorming the ways that phones can be used to complete tasks at work, exploring different scenarios in which workers don’t use good phone etiquette, and writing professional work-related texts.

The volunteers – Karen Gellatly, Kelley Davis, Tim Smith, Carl Gagnon, Nick Sawchuck, Don DeSalvio, Casey Thornell, Carly Yarian, Christine Smalley, Jack McAdam and Jesseca Steele – stressed the fact that many employers ban cellphone use and will punish or even fire a worker who breaks the rules. Others take advantage of phones’ computing power to increase worker productivity. It’s important to be aware of where your employer stands, they said.

Junior Achievement of Maine is a local affiliate of JA USA, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. During the 2023-2024 school year, volunteers have provided workshops on topics such as interviewing skills, filling out a job application and creating a first resume in addition to other soft skills students will need to be prepared for the world of work.

Maine has nearly 700 volunteers from all walks of life, including businesspeople, college students, parents and retirees. Junior Achievement programming reaches nearly 13,000 K-12 students across the state. This was the first year that SHS sophomores participated in JA programming. To be part of future volunteer efforts with Junior Achievement of Maine at SHS or learn more about how to support JA programs across the state, visit their website at

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