Amanda is the Director of Education for Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania. In her role at Junior Achievement she oversees partnerships between JA and the school districts in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and its six bordering counties. She and her staff recruit approximately 3,000 volunteers each school year to teach JA’s curriculum on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness in the classroom to over 40,000 local youth in grades Pre-K-12. She has initiated and leads a refugee and immigrant initiative at JA which has led to hundreds of local refugee and immigrant youth being exposed to in-school JA programming, specialized job shadow events, increased media attention and scholarships.
Prior to JA, Ms. Laichak graduated with a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and participated in the Semester at Sea program. She began her professional career as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor to adults and children in Poland and later in Pittsburgh. She has worked extensively in refugee resettlement at the federal and local levels. She holds a Master of International Development degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Ms. Laichak has published work on immigrant entrepreneurship in Poland and Ukraine. She is also a current doctoral student in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh with a research focus on refugee and immigrant K-12 education. Originating from Johnstown, PA she also owns and manages several rental properties in the City of Pittsburgh.