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VOL. 127 | NO. 100 | Tuesday, May 22, 2012

JA Turns Students Into Entrepreneurs

By Aisling Maki

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A group of Germantown High School students recently harnessed the power of entrepreneurship to make a positive impact on the lives of children thousands of miles away.

The students, participants of Junior Achievement’s Company program, teamed up with Nations Member Church’s Project 101, a program dedicated to saving the lives of young children in Africa who are suffering from acute malnutrition.

After brainstorming ideas, the students settled on selling T-shirts in the school’s colors of red and white that conveyed a message of giving.

The students exceeded their goal and donated $350 to Project 101, which will provide nutrition for 16 children in Africa.

“JA Company gives students the opportunity to explore business concepts and create an actual business,” said Larry Colbert, president of Junior Achievement of Memphis & the Mid-South Inc., 307 Madison Ave. “Through the guidance of their classroom volunteer Skip Betts of CubeSmart and marketing teacher Carrie Likley, Germantown High students learned the dynamics of business operations by becoming entrepreneurs. They presented an annual report of their company that reflected the business skills learned over several weeks of dedicated work.”

Junior Achievement’s purpose is to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business and economics to improve the quality of their lives. The national organization helps cultivate young people’s talents and abilities and critical thinking and problem-solving skills while fueling the entrepreneurial spirit.

Its programs give young people the knowledge and skills they need to plan for the future, make smart academic choices, and set themselves up for economic success.

“JA Company gives students the opportunity to explore business concepts and create an actual business.”

–Larry Colbert
President, Junior Achievement of Memphis & the Mid-South Inc.

The local affiliate upholds this commitment by placing corporate and community volunteers in the classroom to deliver programs centered on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship for children in kindergarten through grade 12.

Volunteers bring real world experience to the classroom and serve as role models to help students better understand the economic concepts necessary to become successful in the workplace and in life.

Junior Achievement provides the training, high-quality materials and support to enhance the learning environment and reinforce classroom curriculum.

The organization’s elementary school program helps children in kindergarten through grade six understand the economic system and the relevance of an education to the workplace.

Its middle school program teaches students in grades seven through nine how businesses operate in the U.S. economy while exploring career interests and opportunities.

Junior Achievement’s high school program offers students in grades nine through 12 insights into the complexities and rewards of the free enterprise system. It strives to help students develop skills, knowledge and a positive attitude that will propel them toward being productive workers, responsible individuals and involved citizens.

The high school program includes Junior Achievement’s Company Program, which the Germantown High School students transformed into a philanthropic venture.

The program’s impact is measurable, and individual evaluators have determined that students who’ve participated in the program at consecutive grade levels have demonstrated a strong understanding of economics and business concepts.

The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc. is a supporter of Junior Achievement.

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