There are few community volunteers in the Greater Washington area who are as committed and passionate about Junior Achievement as Ken Kozloff.
Fondly referred as JA’s “super volunteer” by JA staff members, Kozloff has been a consistent volunteer for JA for over three years.
Kozloff first heard about JA from a colleague while serving as the CEO of Inova Alexandria Hospital and as Senior Vice President of the Inova Heath System from 2000-2007. While with Inova, he spearheaded various philanthropy projects and expanded services for patients. Kozloff helped raise $2 million annually in public fundraising for the hospital's expansion. Since retiring in 2007, his legacy of giving back to his community has hardly diminished. In fact, many would say he gives back more than ever.
After retiring from Inova, he served as the CEO of the Jewish Social Service Agency and began actively volunteering with several different organizations in Northern Virginia. These days, Kozloff regularly volunteers for seven non-profit organizations within Fairfax County: Junior Achievement, the Fairfax Parks Adaptive Aquatics program, the World Police & Fire Games, AMVETS, Special Olympics in Fairfax, and Britepaths (previously Our Daily Bread). Though he didn’t fail to add that, “JA is at the top of the list.”
Kozloff dipped his toes into JA programming through a JA Finance Park Orientation Program at JA Finance Park Fairfax County. After working with school age children at the JA Finance Park, he was looking for a new challenge and decided that he wanted to get into the classroom to volunteer.
And he hasn’t looked back since.
"Once I started getting in the classroom and teaching children, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it,” said Kozloff.
And it’s clear how much he enjoys it by how much of his time he gives to JA. Nowadays, Kozloff averages 8-13 hours a week in the classroom teaching JA programming, predominantly in special needs classrooms in schools throughout Northern Virginia.
Gayle Robinson, Northern Virginia Program Manager for Junior Achievement, said that Kozloff not only volunteers on a regular basis, but has also been instrumental in on-boarding and training new volunteers.
“The JA team often jokes that Ken knows our programs better than much of the staff does,” said Robinson. “He has now taught almost every program we offer.”
While Kozloff enjoys working with students of all different ages, abilities, and backgrounds, he says that it is especially gratifying working with special needs students because they “really understand the concepts and can take what they have learned and put it into practice.”
He went on to mention that one of his favorite moments volunteering with JA was while he was teaching a high school special needs class.
“On the last class of the semester I reviewed with the students the previous five lessons. Almost all of the students could repeat what they had learned over the five weeks of instruction,” said Kozloff. “They were also able to give examples of how they were going to use these skills on a job search.”
In addition to all of his work in the classroom, Kozloff volunteered to serve as one of three community mentors at our first ever JA Entrepreneurship Summit in the summer of 2016.
During this program, he encouraged students to think out of the box and develop creative solutions to modern problems. He helped them develop both technical skills and soft skills and served as a sounding board for his team, Sticky Solutions, who ended up winning the business pitch competition at the conclusion of the summit.
Kozloff describes JA programming as exciting, useful, and educational and what he loves most about JA programs is that he was not discouraged from getting into the classroom to teach despite a lack of formal teacher training.
“JA makes it easy for those without formal training to teach classes,” said Kozloff. What Kozloff lacks in formal training, he makes up for tenfold through his passion and desire to help others.
“Ken’s passion for serving JA students is clearly seen each time he enters the classroom,” said Robinson. “His energy, commitment to the cause, and passion for serving others has made him a joy to work with.”
When asked what advice he had for the next generation, Kozloff said, “Take advantage of every educational opportunity you have, including those that are outside the formal educational path.”
But in addition to educational ventures, he says that, “the most important thing is helping others reach their goals.” And as a beneficiary of Kozloff’s leadership, talent, and commitment, JA can attest with certainty that he is helping us reach our goals.
There are plenty of different ways to volunteer with JA. If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer with JA, please fill out our Volunteer Inquiry Form and a JA staff member will be in touch shortly to discuss what time, location, and opportunity are right for your schedule and interests.