Did you know that there is a Junior Achievement program over at Discovery High School? Well I didn't either, but there is. I had the opportunity this week to go visit Junior Achievement over at Discovery. When you walk into the lobby it looks like a regular lobby, but when you go behind closed doors you will be totally surprised. It was like walking through the front doors of a business center, actually that's exactly what it was. Behind the doors was a business center that housed businesses like Home Depot, Wells Fargo, Holiday Inn, Chick Fi-La and many others. When I walked in my mouth fell open in awe.
What a very cool concept. The students have the opportunity to learn the book knowledge in the classroom, then they spend four hours a day in the business center acquiring hands on experience with running the business, applying for loans and so much more. These are the types of life skills that I wasn't taught in school. It wasn't until I was a grown woman, that I learned anything about banking and business. Forget about credit. I filed bankruptcy when I was 24 years old, because I was a single parent and could not handle all of the credit card debt that I had from credit cards I got while I was in college. The kids that are going through the JA program don't have to travel down the same path as I did. They will be well equipped to handle money and business by the time they become young adults.
The JA program at Discovery serves students in 6 and 8th grades. So these kids are getting an early start on real life. They now understand what it cost to send a child to daycare. They learn how to manage a household and what that actual entails.
The JA program is divided into two centers. One center is the business center and the other is the financial center. The sixth graders run the business center, while the eighth graders run the financial center. After eighth grade, the students can continue the program if the high school they attend has the 3DE program which is an accelerated version of the JA Program.
I was really impressed with everything that I saw. As a business owner I saw some very big companies that were a part of the program, but not any small local businesses, so I had to ask the question, how can small businesses participate in the program. Well once I got the answer it was very clear, because in order to participate as a business you would have to become a sponsor and to do that cost $25,000 a year, a fee that most small local businesses just couldn't afford. We went a step further to ask if a Chamber wanted to participate, would that same $25k apply and the answer was yes, however there was a $10K option to put a TV in there that could display the businesses that were a part of the Chamber. This second option is definitely something that I will take back to our members at GECC.
All in all my visit to the Junior Achievement Center in Lawrenceville was awesome.
Hope you stop by to visit again.
Until Next Time
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