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Welcome Amy Sidwell – Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania’s New Senior Education Director

Welcome Amy Sidwell – Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania’s New Senior Education Director

Headshot of Amy Sidwell

Image caption: Headshot of Amy Sidwell

For Amy Sidwell, senior education director at Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania (JAWPA), education has always been at the forefront of her professional career. From her childhood experiences to her work throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Sidwell has always understood the value of education and is excited to bring her perspectives to JAWPA. 

“I think of myself as a lifelong educator,” said Sidwell. “I’m the oldest of five girls, so I’ve always been teaching someone something. Education is so important to me, and I’m fortunate to have worked so many different jobs that have all somehow been tied to it.” 

Sidwell, a native of Erie County, Pennsylvania, completed her undergraduate degree in health and physical education at Edinboro University. After graduation, she attended West Virginia University to complete a master’s degree in community health education and, soon after, a doctoral degree in kinesiology, concentrating on teacher education, educational psychology and research design. 

Her professional experiences took her across West Virginia as she worked in various fields educating others about substance abuse, health, well-being, and financial literacy. Sidwell’s most recent position, program director at West Virginia University, emphasized well-being and financial literacy for students, an experience vital to the mission of JAWPA. 

"Throughout my career I have been interested in understanding how income is tied to health and well-being. Income is a significant factor that affects children's life trajectories." 

Although West Virginia had become home, the mission of JAWPA resonated with Sidwell and ultimately attracted her back to work in Pennsylvania.  

In her new role, Sidwell has two goals she would like to accomplish.  

  1.  To create high quality programs and meaningful educational experiences.  
  2. To ensure each staff member has the means to do their jobs with enthusiasm and can collaboratively support the organization’s mission – a mission that combines her passions with the two places she calls home. 

When thinking about the intersection of her professional career and new position, Sidwell says things have come full circle. 

“Having spent half of my life in western Pennsylvania and the other half in West Virginia, I’m thrilled to have a job where I can combine my past experiences that have shaped my professional and personal life into these new goals." 

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