Junior Achievement Inspires Sixth Graders to Attend College
Nearly 40 sixth-grade students from Tomahawk Elementary School visited the University of Missouri-Kansas City Nov. 14 for a taste of college as they took part in a Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City’s (JAKC) “JA It’s My Future” program. The program, which focuses on a career-planning curriculum taught by UMKC staff members, is intended to plant the seeds of college in students’ minds sooner and help them to imagine a future in higher education.
“By the time children get to high school, they have already decided whether or not they are going to college,” said JAKC President and CEO Megan Sturges. “We want to begin the college conversation earlier so that students can begin to make choices toward a college education, or develop a plan for what they want to do after high school.”
Throughout the day students discussed what it means to have a personal brand, and participated in guided activities to develop a road map toward their dream careers. The JA It’s My Future sessions were conducted at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management.
Many students, like Ariana and Melissa, know exactly what they want to be when they grow up.
“I want to be a lawyer, or I want to do security risk,” said Melissa, adding that her father also works in security risk. Other students wanted to work as video game editors, firefighters, fashion designers or sports stars.
“My first choice is to be a doctor, and my second choice is to be a soccer player,” said Arianna. By the end of the day Arianna decided she’d like to be an orthopedic surgeon, for which she’d have to attend medical school.
Other students had less concrete plans, and were willing to accept the career that could potentially make them the most money.
Students also had the chance to go on a guided tour of campus with UMKC Student Ambassadors, and were fascinated with the endless amount of possibilities and resources available for college students. Those who have never visited a college campus were suddenly enthralled with the idea of attending college.
“For many of our students, college is just a dream, but thanks to our wonderful partnership with the Bloch School, these students will have a chance to experience ‘a day in the life of a college student,’ which will leave them wanting more,” said Sturges.
Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City brings business back to the classroom by providing programs to promote financial literacy, inspire entrepreneurship, and prepare students (K-12) for success in a 21st century workplace. By connecting classrooms with business and community volunteers in a hands-on learning environment, JA programs equip Kansas City’s next generation with the skills they need for a prosperous future.
Kelsey Haynes | Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications