Baltimore Students to Live and Work in a Simulated City with JA of Central Maryland and AT&T

Program lets students see the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a global economy.

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JA) is bringing important financial literacy lessons to students in Maryland as part of a contribution from AT&T, through its signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire. Fifth-grade students at Cherry Hill Elementary and Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson Elementary/Middle in Baltimore will be assigned an AT&T mentor through the JA BizTown® program, which gives students a firsthand glimpse into the future by learning about the world of real life in a city.

JA BizTown® begins with several weeks in the classroom filled with hands-on activities that give students actual experience completing the skills they’ll need to be active and productive citizens. Students are exposed to 15 JA BizTown® shops where they operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks and even vote for mayor. The program culminates in a day-long visit to a fully interactive, simulated free market lab where students become adults for a day.

“I’m not sure I can stress just how important it is for students to get a true look at what life will be like for them as they grow into adulthood,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “And not only that. It’s vital that they have role models — AT&T employees — who help them see that success is clearly within their grasp. The lessons they learn in the program prove they can look forward to a world of possibilities. I don’t think you can put a price on that.”

During the 2016-2017 school year, Junior Achievement and AT&T seek to impact more than 7,000 students nationwide. This could not be achieved without the support of AT&T mentors who connect with students to help them discover their passions and potential. This collaboration is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.

“Serving as a volunteer for this program has been unbelievably rewarding,” said Carolyn Thompson, AT&T spokesperson and JA liaison. “I can honestly say I get just as much from it as the students do because I realize what I’m helping them with is something they’ll truly use for the rest of their lives. I think they’ll remember our time together — I know I will.”

The collaboration between Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and AT&T is a continuation of their joint commitment to providing supplemental learning experiences that help young people in the community develop the competence, confidence and character to make smart academic and economic decisions.

See what students and AT&T mentors who have completed JA BizTown® have to say about the program: http://youtu.be/L3NWazI2_UM.

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