DMC Employee and Student Volunteers Took Over, Taught Junior Achievement Principles at West Oso ISD Elementary Schools as Part of “JA in a Day”
Junior Achievement initiative provides volunteers unique opportunity to teach evidence-based curriculum in a day while also incorporating personal and professional experiences related to content taught
Article by Melinda Eddleman
The mission is all about teaching “possible.” It’s the mantra of Junior Achievement USA, the organization dedicated to inspiriting and preparing America’s youth for success in what is now a global economy by engraining concepts focused on education and career pathways, financial confidence and even business ownership.
For West Oso Independent School District (ISD) second through fifth graders, they learned about these concepts during Junior Achievement (JA) of the Coastal Bend’s “JA in a Day” on Nov. 10 as 57 Del Mar College (DMC) employee and student volunteers clad in “Team Del Mar” tee shirts headed into classrooms to provide age-appropriate lessons to ignite these youngsters’ dreams for the future.
Del Mar College is excited to partner with Junior Achievement and West Oso ISD to inspire elementary students to dream big when considering their educational and career paths. By introducing the concepts of career pathways at an early age, students can begin to consider their own interests and the world of possibilities open to them for their future.
JA of the Coastal Bend Program Manager Ezra Moreno added, “Our ‘JA in a Day’ event and partnership with Del Mar College is an invaluable opportunity for local elementary school students to hear from many individuals with various backgrounds and skillsets. This event gives volunteers a unique opportunity to teach an evidence-based curriculum while also incorporating their personal and professional experiences that relate to the content.”
During an early morning pep rally with the West Oso Elementary Dazzling Bears Drill Team to get DMC’s volunteers revved up to teach, Moreno shared that the day’s activities would reach over 500 students in 30 classrooms that day at both West Oso ISD elementary schools combined.
As an extended program of San Antonio-based Junior Achievement of South Texas, JA of the Coastal Bend prepared and divided out the College’s 31 faculty and staff and 26 students to teach age-appropriate concepts to all third through fifth graders attending West Oso Elementary School and second graders at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School. DMC student volunteers represented majors from several programs, including education, allied health, biology, business management, education and English.
All volunteers received training and materials to cover curriculum tailored to their assigned grade levels. Lessons included the following:
• Second graders: JA Our Community introduces students to the daily life of their community,
including how citizens benefit from and contribute to a community's success.
•Third graders: JA Our City stresses the importance of money to a city and its citizens ; choices
people have with money and how entrepreneurial businesses meet the needs and wants of citizens.
• Fourth graders: JA Our Region provides students with a practical approach to starting a business
while preparing them to be entrepreneurial in their thinking to meet the requirements of a
demanding and ever-changing workforce.
• Fifth graders: JA Our Nation provides students with practical information about the nation's
free market system and how it serves as an economic engine for businesses and careers.
Junior Achievement USA’s website states that their “proven lesson plans in financial literacy, work and career readiness and entrepreneurship are shown to positively impact the lives of young people. These lessons align with national and state educational standards and are delivered to millions of students across the country with the help of our education partners and volunteers from the local community. Research shows that JA Alumni are more likely to have a college degree, feel confident managing money, have career success and have started a business as an adult.”
For the 2022-2023 school year, the impact of JA of South Texas experiences, including its two extended programs––JA of the Coastal Bend and JA of Laredo––reached 63,687 students and 2,122 teachers at 278 schools through the efforts of 2,167 volunteers as reported on their website.
And, a national Junior Achievement poll found that 91% of JA alumni felt their experience motivated them to learn and 90% felt JA played an important role in their believing they can achieve their goals, among other statistics. Poll findings also showed that 56% of the respondents said they were currently in a career or job or had worked in a similar position as the one their JA volunteer had held.
In keeping with the overall mission of Junior Achievement, our goal is to encourage the Coastal Bend’s young students to begin thinking about their futures and to inspire and prepare them to succeed in a global economy.
For that one day … Nov. 10 … DMC’s 57 volunteers began igniting that inspiration.
(Shown in the page banner is a group photo of Del Mar College faculty, staff and student volunteers, along with Valdar the Viking, at the West Oso Elementary School on Nov. 10 prior to heading into their designated classrooms to teach as part of “JA in a Day,” an event organized by Junior Achievement of the Coastal Bend.)
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.