Junior Achievement spends Thursday volunteering at Meadowview Elementary in Bossier City

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Thirty Junior Achievement volunteers from Bossier City and Shreveport will be teaching “JA in a Day” lessons to Kindergarten through fifth grade students at Meadowview Elementary School, on Thursday, October 23 from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

From deciphering the difference between a need and a want in first grade to teaching fifth graders the effect globalization has on their future career opportunities, Junior Achievement strives to prepare students to succeed in a global economy. JA programs empower students to make a connection between what they are learning in school and how it can be applied in the real world – enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school.

Junior Achievement will continue celebrating its 50th year by teaching our 200,000th JA student tomorrow at Meadowview Elementary School in Bossier. JA began teaching lessons in financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurship in 1964.

“JA started in North Louisiana with the JA Company Program where students decided on a product to make and sell. They then worked with a JA Volunteer to come up with a business plan, expedite that plan and at the end of the school year, closed the company with, hopefully, a profit” said JA President, Nita Cook.

Many people remember fondly when students took JA after school by participating in JA Company Program. Fast forward, 50 years, Junior Achievement of North Louisiana now offers 13 programs, JA Company Program is digital and the majority of programs are volunteer-led in the classroom.

JA’s mission and volunteer component has stayed true; JA trains business and community leaders, and servicemen and women to mentor students to understand the connection between staying in school and achieving their dreams. JA provides all the curriculum and hands-on activities for students and present lessons in a way that connects classroom learning to their lives.

“I recently met Cecil Marr at an AFCEA luncheon when afterwards; he approached me with a big smile. Cecil proceeded to tell me about his 1964 JA experience at Woodlawn High School. He told of coming up with the product, a red flashing light you put on top of your car in case you were stranded. At the time, this was cutting edge and many were sold door to door by the members of their JA Company Program team,” Cecil laughed.

“‘We sold those lights and they were really cool.’ After returning to the office, Cecil called, ‘I’ll have to tell you the rest of the story,’ it was so funny, some of the kids took the lights out at night to a popular necking spot and pretended to be the police; I think we sold as many to the students as we did for emergency use”, Cecil laughed. “JA was a great experience, my first in sales, and it taught me a lot.”

Today, Cecil is owner of the C.F. Biggs Co., supports the local economy through employment opportunities and is still in sales. Cecil wants to connect back with Junior Achievement and I can see him as a future classroom volunteer.