Khan Lau, managing optometrist with LensCrafters, has been named by Junior Achievement of Hawaii as its 2001 High School Volunteer of the Year.
Students work nets
By Lisa Asato
"It's a lot of fun, that's probably the reason I do it," Lau said, adding that it also gives him a chance to improve his public-speaking skills.
Because high school students are "usually pretty candid as to what they think about your lecture, you get good feedback of how you're doing," he said.
"We try to teach business skills, leadership skills, how to apply for a job -- things you don't normally learn in regular high school classes."
For three years, Lau has been the volunteer adviser for the Junior Achievement Company Program at Pearl City High School, where he spends one hour twice a week in teacher Myra Borges' class.
Over the course of one semester, Lau helps teach students how to start their own business, guiding them from the early steps of researching a product to selling stock, paying wages, and hopefully making a profit along the way, he said.
As a former Junior Achiever, Lau said he decided to volunteer for the program now that he's "on the other side of the coin." He encouraged others with a business background to do the same.
"We need more volunteers," he said. "There's a lot of kids that could really benefit from the experience that we as business people have."
Junior Achievement of Hawaii President Carolann Biederman said Lau was named High School Volunteer of the Year because he exemplifies a commitment to community service and has been an excellent role model for the students.
"The ripple effect of his positive influence will serve our community well as these young people make their way into the work force," she said.