#JAAlumni Carly Rettie Reflects on Experiences, Gives Back to Next Generation


When asked what advice she would give to someone entering high school, George C. Marshall High School junior, Carly Rettie, responded with, “Get involved! Find something that you love to do, and do it.” And she is quick to take her own advice, too.

After experiencing Junior Achievement® herself both in the classroom during her days at Shrevewood Elementary School and then later at JA Finance Park® Fairfax County while a student at Kilmer Middle School, Carly wanted to ensure that future JA® participants had the same great experience that she did; walking away with authentic and relevant life lessons taught by a volunteer role model from her own community. 

Carly’s passion for volunteering was inspired, in part, by the actions of a public figure she looks up to: Oprah Winfrey. From Oprah, Carly says she learned “the importance of charity and helping others.” But, closer to home, Carly’s enthusiasm for volunteerism was inspired by the student volunteers she interacted with during her own time as a JA® participant.

“As a student I really enjoyed when high school students would come to my class and teach us and I wanted to provide that same experience for other students,” said Carly of her decision to become a JA® Hero volunteer several times throughout her high school career at Marshall.

When asked what she specifically remembered about being a JA® student herself, Carly responded, “I specifically remember JA in 2nd grade when we did an activity involving assembly lines and donuts, it was a very exciting activity and ended with a sweet snack. Last year I was lucky enough to teach to 2nd graders this same lesson at West Briar Elementary.”

Carly’s JA® experiences encouraged her to evaluate her interests and passions as she considered her own path to the future. With that in mind, Carly has come to realize that she “loves learning about history and how our government works” and plans to pursue these passions after high school by attending college to study either law, political science, or education.

One thing is certain: Carly’s JA® experience will go a long way in providing her a strong foundation on which she can continue to build on her education, work hard, and achieve her dreams. Junior Achievement® thanks Carly for paying her JA® experience forward and helping to inspire the next generation of young people to own their economic futures.


JA® USA has recently declared January as JA Alumni Month. This initiative is an effort to reconnect with the nearly 100 million people who participated in Junior Achievement programs while in grades K-12 since the organization's founding. In honor of Alumni Month, here at JA® of Greater Washington, we will be featuring some #JAAlumni who now double as #JAHero volunteers in the Greater Washington region. If you are a JA Alumni and would like to become a member of the JA Alumni Society please visit myja.org/about/alumni or sign up to become a volunteer at myja.org/volunteers/signup