Going Above and Beyond for JA® Kids: How one JA Hero’s impact stretches far and wide

“NEVER be afraid to be yourself. You are the best person to be you.”

When asked what advice she has for the next generation, Tiffany Ferriss offered this piece of guidance.

“Being someone else will do a disservice to the amazing person you were destined to be,” she said. And it is clear that Tiffany herself has taken this advice to heart. A natural leader, Tiffany exudes an air of confidence, openness, and positivity when she walks into the room.

No doubt that these qualities have led to her success as Manager of Branch Administration for the DMV Metro Market at professional staffing agency, Robert Half.

Tiffany Ferriss, Manager of Branch Administration, DMV Metro Market, Robert Half

Tiffany Ferriss, Manager of Branch Administration, DMV Metro Market, Robert Half

Robert Half has a long-standing partnership with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, supporting the organization both financially and through volunteer support. Tiffany first became involved with JA as the internal driver of Robert Half’s annual JA Bowl-a-Thon in 2014. Since then, the Robert Half Bowl program has tripled in size and popularity at the firm.

Under Tiffany's leadership, Robert Half raised over $35,500 for JA programming in 2016 and will be close to $40,000 this year. She brought the employee matching gift program to roughly 95% for this event, earning her the JA-wide nickname of “Matching Gifts Queen.” Through these efforts alone, Tiffany has single-handedly nearly doubled Robert Half’s peer-to-peer fundraising totals each year.

In addition to her fundraising efforts, Tiffany is an integral member of the JA Bowl-a-Thon Committee. In this role, she has introduced JA to her networks, stewarded other Bowl Coordinators, and assisted JA staff members with strategy around the annual Regional Competitions and the Bowl-a-Thon Raffle. 

But her commitment to JA doesn’t stop with her Bowl involvement. Tiffany is a member of JA's Associate Leadership Council (ALC) and also volunteers on-the-ground, teaching JA programs and directly impacting students at JA Finance Park®.  

“[Volunteering at JA Finance Park] was an incredibly rewarding experience to see the curriculum, and our fundraising efforts, at work,” said Tiffany. “I had many staff members agree that if we had this curriculum during our junior high and high school years, we could have been much better prepared for our adult years!”

Tiffany noted that one thing she enjoys the most about volunteering with JA is the broad range of students you encounter each time your volunteer.

“It's rewarding to see all the diverse backgrounds of upbringing and how they work together,” said Tiffany. “Some students need a little more attention and direction; others thrive on their own. Either way, the end result is always successful. Watching these students leave with financial training that will put them ahead in life is very worthwhile.”

She went on to describe one of the most enlightening instances she experienced with volunteering with JA:

In November of 2016, I was volunteering at JA Finance Park. There was a 7th grader who was extremely vivacious and full of life. However, he shared that he had a fear of making the wrong decisions based on consequence. Basically, he would prefer to never make a decision so that he never makes a mistake. While I can completely understand his young, but insightful logic, it saddened me. I spent every moment that he was present trying to help him work through those fears and feel empowered to make not only decisions, but to make mistakes. Human nature is to shy away from mistakes. However, the feeling that ‘it’s going to be okay, even if I’m wrong’ is a much sturdier security. It is okay to make mistakes! This was a fresh reminder to the adult volunteers, as well, that it’s okay to be human and ‘mess up’ sometimes.

“Tiffany is an absolute pleasure to have gotten to know over the past few years,” said Lauren Meltzer, Development and Events Manager for JA of Greater Washington and the JA staff member who works most closely with Tiffany. “From what I have heard, Robert Half couldn’t function like they do without her; she is crucial to their operations, and it shows in her efforts with JA. I look forward to working with her for many years to come.”

Echoing Lauren’s sentiments, the entire JA of Greater Washington staff is thankful for Tiffany’s commitment to JA’s mission of empowering the next generation. If you are inspired by Tiffany’s volunteer story and would like to volunteer with JA, there are a number of different ways you can get involved. Simply 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.