Junior Achievement Program returns to teach financial literacy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CBC News

The Junior Achievement Program will return to Windsor after a seven-year hiatus.

Students will take part in a 20-week program, during which they will create a viable product idea and work to bring the product to market.

Students will learn entrepreneurship, including production, marketing, sales, management, finance, accounting, organization, communication and more.

“We feel like we need to bring these growth ops to the youth of Windsor-Essex,” Bianca Betschel, Windsor-Essex Junior Achievement program manager said “There is a bit of a missing link in the [school] curriculum as far as financial literacy goes.”

The Junior Achievement Program ended in Windsor after some restructuring about seven years ago.

“There was nothing negative that happened. It just kind of disappeared,” Betschel said.

It’s been in Sarnia and Chatham, but returns to Windsor-Essex in the fall.

Betschel said there are three pillars of the program:

  • Work readiness
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial literacy

“We’re trying to reach these youth at a point where it’s not too late. We learn financial money management at a point where we look back and say ‘I wish I knew this earlier,’” Betschel said. “If you have a business that’s making no money, you have a hobby.”

With help from teachers and local businesspersons, students will be running their own business from the ground up, with the goal of breaking even - or making a profit - by the time the program is complete.

After the 20-week period is over, the students will learn how to liquidate a company.

“We’re really letting them know entrepreneurship is a viable career option,” Betschel said.