How would you feel standing in a class of 30 students teaching them principles they would use for the rest of their lives? Honored? Nervous? Excited? Empowered?
In the 2015-2016 school year, a total of 237,680 volunteers across the nation stepped up to teach 4,803,046 students from kindergarten to high school real-world concepts in areas of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship with programs provided by Junior Achievement (JA).
For a group of Business Honors Program (BHP) students from the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce, studying advanced principles of business was not enough. The BHP students decided to take a reverse role, going from college student to teacher for their local community of Tuscaloosa.
The Culverhouse Business Honors Program “provides opportunities for outstanding Culverhouse undergraduates to enrich their business education. The program emphasizes class presentations by students, faculty, business leaders, and campus recruiters, as well as independent research and project work over two years of undergraduate study.”
These bright business students; studying accounting, marketing, management, finance, and economics, dedicated a total of 1,500 volunteer hours to various nonprofits in their community. Fortunately, one of the nonprofits was Junior Achievement in Tuscaloosa. College students who participated in teaching students in their local schools not only shared their passion for business but they were also able to impact the future of the Tuscaloosa community.
Senior and finance major Cameron Hudson’s experiences through BHP taught her more than just how to calculate the time value of money or financial ratio analysis. “BHP has been a wonderful opportunity to network for my future career, gain hands-on experience through project work and make a difference in the Tuscaloosa community,” said Hudson.
It was through their hands-on experience that these college students saw an area for further involvement. At the end of teaching their JA program, the BHP students found another way to give back by taking it upon themselves to recruit more Junior Achievement volunteers. Their volunteer recruiting efforts brought in enough volunteer power to cover more than 400 JA classes, which meant even more students in their community would learn the necessary life skills through financial literacy programs and work readiness curriculum.
Carla Harris, the senior program manager with Junior Achievement in Tuscaloosa, stated, “The reason that I love Business Honors is because of that group of students—they’re self-starters; they’re dependable.”
With BHP continuing their fourth year of volunteering with JA in Tuscaloosa, the past and present business owners can rest easy knowing that the future is bright.
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Grider , O. (2017, July 29). Students in UA's Business Honors Program gain real-world experience by helping nonprofits improve operations and complete projects. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://cesr.ua.edu/students-in-uas-business-honors-program-gain-real-world-experience-by-helping-nonprofits-improve-operations-and-complete-projects/