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40 Under 40: Helping students navigate from classroom to career

Photo / Tim Greenway Junior Achievement of Maine leader Michelle Anderson would like to see construction of an innovation center that provides students with real-world learning.
Michelle Anderson, 34

President / CEO, Junior Achievement of Maine Click here to see all 40 Under 40 honorees.
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Significant professional accomplishment: Helping Junior Achievement of Maine grow its statewide presence through enhanced, innovative partnerships with school districts and Maine’s business community has been something I’m proud to have led. We’ve grown the Junior Achievement team as well as our volunteer base, which has allowed us to deepen our impact on students in Maine. Navigating challenges of the pandemic was difficult, but the organization became far more resilient and financially sound as a result. Facing those challenges helped me grow as a leader. I appreciate my amazing colleagues and board members who are collaborative and passionate and make work fun.

Passion project: I love working with children. Being a Junior Achievement volunteer over the last 12 years has been a rewarding experience that allows me to give back and be part of a mission that will have a positive impact for generations. Helping students find their passion, raising their aspirations and making the connections between what they are learning in school to a future career makes my heart happy.

Audacious goal: I hope to champion building a Junior Achievement of Maine innovation center that takes learning outside the classroom and provides real-world learning simulations, igniting a spark in students to design fulfilling careers.

Favorite quote: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Influential book: “Daring Greatly,” by Brené Brown

Favorite movie: “The Sound of Music”

How do you recharge: I love spending time in Maine’s beautiful outdoors.

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