Through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, we aim to give people the skills they need to thrive in a connected world.
To help achieve that vision, the Cisco Foundation recently completed a grant to the Junior Achievement Discovery Center in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The facility, adjacent to the Cisco campus in Lawrenceville, held its grand opening yesterday, with more than 600 attendees. In partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools, the center will serve more than 25,000 middle school students annually, helping to enhance their financial literacy and build skills for personal and professional success.
The students’ experience begins with 18 in-class lessons of JA provided curriculum, then culminates with a day at JA BizTown presented by Cisco — a venue where students are able to interact within a simulated macro-economy, and take on the role of employee, tax payer, and consumer. During the visit to JA BizTown, students receive unique job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day’s work, develops a personal budget, deposits a paycheck at the bank and makes purchasing decisions.
Gwinnett County Public Schools will integrate JA’s programing into the curriculum for middle grade students beginning fall 2015. The goal is to provide every child, no matter their background, the opportunity to develop skills to become financially independent and responsible.
Currently, there are more than 30 such facilities across the United States, and JA reports the following results:
- 100 percent of principals found it to be an invaluable experience for their students
- 94 percent of students who participate in JA BizTown expect to graduate high school and attend post-secondary education.
- 94 percent of JA Finance Park students say they now see why school and education are important to achieve the lifestyle they desire.