Junior Achievement program models finance to Tarrant County students

McLean sixth-graders are learning the value of understanding finance well before college.

Junior Achievement comes to the school during the week based on student’s schedules and uses volunteers to teach the material.

“These volunteers come from the community, with the big majority of them coming from local businesses,” said Randal Mays, president of Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail. “JA is a great way for businesses to get involved with education and the schools.”

The program, founded in Tarrant County in 1956, is a nonprofit, youth development organization that teaches students the importance of work force readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

“JA is always focused in on helping kids discover that entrepreneurial spirit,” Mays said.

Chrissi Gallegos, McLean social studies department chair, said students love when a new volunteer comes in.

“The volunteer shares a lot of their personal experiences and things that the kids have not heard or experienced before,” she said.

Galllegos likes Junior Achievement, she said, because it meets state standards and reinforces the ideas in a more interactive way. She also likes that students can talk with each other about experiences they learned through the program.             

Mays said he hopes students apply what they learn through the program in their daily lives.

“If they are having challenges getting along with fellow students, teachers and principals, we make them see that they may have problems with their boss when they get out into the workplace,” he said. “We’re giving them an opportunity to learn some skills that will make them more successful.”

For more information about Junior Achievement, visit jafortworth.org.