Sunday, July 12, 2009

Junior Achievement

One of the things that each entrepreneur has a duty to do, is to spread the word as to why entrepreneurship is such a wonderful and rewarding occupation. So many times at FSU I have seen students wonder into my office and see so surprised that there is a major in entrepreneurship. They simply did not realize that this field existed.

For last seven years at the Jim Moran Institute, we have provided the resources and volunteers to bring Junior Achievement into the high schools of Leon County, Florida. Junior Achievement is a wonderful national and international(?) organization that provides the support necessary for providing the entrepreneurship education in the school systems.

I would go every year to the end of the school year luncheon of JA and here the volunteers(other entrepreneurs)talk about how much they have gained from the experience and then the teachers would talk about how much the kids learn from volunteers. I was so impressed by this each year and was constantly running into students who thanked us for bringing JA to their school and how much they learned about business.

About a year ago, Florida Commerce Credit Union gave us some extra money to hire a coordinator of Junior Achievement(Wanda Brafford). However, they wanted JA to be taught in the elementary schools of Leon County.

After we sent out a request to just 4 elementary schools, we had over 50 teachers who wanted the program in their classroom. I was surprised by the response and we were short of volunteer teachers so the entire team at Florida Commerce Credit Union and JMI jumped into teaching these classes.

I just finished teaching Mrs. Whitaker’s 5th grade class at Gilchrist Elementary the Junior Achievement curriculm. I was so impressed as the kids were smart and very attentive and really got the notion of what an entrepreneur did and how important they are to both the community as well as nationally and internationally.

One of the last exercises we did was to hand out cards to each child in the class all standing in a circle with a country of origin for some part of manufacturing a car shown on the card. As I called out the product, the student said where the product was from and then passed a string to the next person. As we did this, it became evident of the large web they had made from the string showing the interconnectedness of our world.

I thourghly enjoyed this experience as it showed me that Junior Achievement is very effective at teaching entrepreneurship and that children are never to young to learn about it. However, we need your help.

If you would like to volunteer and are an entrepreneur, please write Wanda Brafford at for more information. There is no pay for this service but knowing that you are helping to educate students about the importance and revelance of entrepreneurship.

You can do this.

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