It’s not often that you can start, operate, and market your own business in a single school day, but that’s what some elementary and middle school students in the did with the help of Junior Achievement and MasterCard volunteers.
“JA in a Day” is a Junior Achievement program that helps to facilitate a partnership between companies and local schools to educate and inspire students about what it takes to succeed in the workplace.
On Fri. March 2, more than 170 MasterCard volunteers spent the day in 88 classrooms at Heritage Intermediate, , and helping to instruct almost 2,000 students. These students experienced a day filled with hands-on learning concepts including work readiness, financial literacy and responsibility, and entrepreneurship.
Fifth grader Halie Ward enjoyed the program. “I really like learning about economics, and being prepared for when I get older, and if I do run a business, how to run it and what to expect. I had a great time getting that experience, and seeing what the cycles are in business, and how to make it flow,” she said.
Teachers like Jessica Knapheide also see the educational value of the program. “I absolutely love it, because it’s very hands-on for the students. They really get to understand real world concepts like money and economics,” said the fifth grade teacher. “The kids love it, because they get to write checks, role play, and see what it’s like to work in the real world.”
The program offers business people the opportunity to share their experience and expertise with students.
MasterCard volunteers like Senior Business Leader Glen McMillin say they get as much as they give. “First you get the experience of interacting with these kids, they have an incredible thirst for knowledge, and I’m amazed at the amount of knowledge that they’ve already absorbed. Volunteering is very important, we have an obligation to give back to the community, and MasterCard is committed to that, because this community is our home too!”
At the end of the school day, students had completed all five grade-level JA lessons and earned their JA certificate.