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Junior Achievement volunteer wins middle school volunteer of the year award

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Junior Achievement volunteer wins middle school volunteer of the year award

Mariah J. Okerstrom, staff accountant at CliftonLarsonAllen, is the 2012 recipient of the Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JAUM) Middle School Volunteer of the Year Award.


The annual accolade is given to a Junior Achievement (JA) volunteer who demonstrates superior results in growth and development of middle school programming. Okerstrom received the award at the recent JAUM annual recognition dinner in Minneapolis.

“I am grateful to have received this honor,” said Okerstrom in a news release. “I could not have done it if it was not for my co-workers at CliftonLarsonAllen and for their continued support of Junior Achievement.”

Tom Pearson, board president of Junior Achievement of the Brainerd Lakes Area, said. “Mariah’s accomplishments are a wonderful example for all JA leaders to follow as the organization moves forward, empowering students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world. We are proud she was recognized with this award.”

During Okerstrom’s tenure as a JA Board Member, JA of the Brainerd Lakes Area increased the number of students served by seven percent during the 2011-2012 school year.

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest has been serving students in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and North Dakota since 1949. This school year the organization will reach more than 139,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade with financial literacy, college and career readiness and entrepreneurship education. The programs are implemented by more than 7,000 volunteers, mostly business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed. Learn more at

Junior Achievement of the Brainerd Lakes Area has been serving students in the lakes area since 1996. This school year JA will reach more than 4,300 students. Last year, JA was in 160 classrooms in 16 area schools, relying on a network of more than 200 volunteers involved in hands-on educational lessons.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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