CEO for a Day

6th-Grade Students Get Real-World Experience with Toyota Volunteers at Junior Achievement’s BizTown

“Fantastic choice! You’ve selected the C-HR! Now let’s help you finance that.”

Not what you’d expect to hear from a 6th-grade student, but taking on real-world jobs, even if for just a day, is part of the latest program being offered at Junior Achievement’s new BizTown in Garland. JA BizTown is a 10,000-square-foot kid-sized city within the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, the first in the Dallas metroplex.

On Monday, April 23, a group of Toyota team members volunteered to lead nearly 90 students from Dallas Independent School District (DISD) through a daylong, fully interactive simulated free market. Prior to attending BizTown, the students applied for various roles such as CEO, CFO, marketing manager, and even the town mayor. Toyota, American Airlines, Southern Methodist University, and Atmos Energy are just a few among the 14 different store fronts at which students worked.

Toyota4Good – JABizTown from Toyota Motor North America on Vimeo.

There was a palpable sense of discovery; as students went from store front to store front, they continuously had revelations in understanding. Whether it was learning to adjust the price tag of an item in their store based on market demand, or how their home loan was impacted due to an interest rate change, these students practiced real-world scenarios that could not have been experienced inside a traditional classroom.

And it’s just one additional way Toyota has continued to align with Junior Achievement in creating engaging and memorable financial education opportunities for the young people in our communities.

“As a long-standing partner of Junior Achievement, everyone at Toyota is really proud and excited to help bring JA BizTown to the Dallas area,” said Erika Doolittle, National Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Toyota Financial Services. “As the financial services arm of Toyota, we know that teaching financial skills at an early age will build the foundation young people need to make smart financial decisions in the future.”

Not only do students learn the value and responsibilities of being consumers, citizens, and taxpayers at BizTown, they gain the opportunity to explore careers that align with their interests and passions at the first-of-its-kind Toyota Career Exploration Center.

Not only do students learn the value and responsibilities of being consumers, citizens, and taxpayers at BizTown, they gain the opportunity to explore careers that align with their interests and passions at the first-of-its-kind Toyota Career Exploration Center.

“At Toyota, we want to inspire youth to start thinking about their futures early and to take an active role in their career exploration process,” said Ana Meade, Senior Manager of Community Connections at Toyota Motor North America. The Center uses 16 career clusters to showcase the many career possibilities within Toyota. “By planting the seed about Toyota careers with today’s youth, we hope to introduce future talent to the exciting professional options available and prepare them for the next generation of jobs.”

So, how did the students enjoy their time at JA BizTown? Junior Achievement VP of Education Kishawna Wiggins, Ed. D. shares a fun story of one student who quickly realized just how intense it could be as the CEO of Toyota.

Kishawna Wiggins – JABizTown from Toyota Motor North America on Vimeo.

To learn more about Toyota’s commitment to financial inclusion, visit www.tfsinthecommunity.com.

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