In the late 1970s living in Indianapolis, as member of the Junior Achievement (JA) Board of Central Indiana, I visited Perry Meridian High School every Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. and spent an hour teaching 9th grade students about fundamentals of business.
I would teach from JA course materials and interject my own real-life experiences as an owner and manager of a small business. I did this for two years, and it was a great experience with great questions coming at me from kids. They were amazed that someone from the corporate world would take the time to come and teach them about business. It was very challenging but equally rewarding. As a small business owner, it actually helped keep me in touch with those basic principles that are the backbone of any business.
Thirty-five years later as a volunteer with Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, I am working with JA and Dr. Sandra Kauanui, Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University to provide funding for the JA CEO Academy.
It is an absolutely outstanding program in entrepreneurship that gives local high school students the opportunity to create their own business plans and present them to accomplished local business leaders. In addition, they tour local businesses to see business leaders and operations in action. The students devote a very full week to learning about business, planning, entrepreneurial spirit and the economics of capitalism.
To offer programs such as the CEO Academy, JA relies on dollars and volunteer's time from our community and corporations who care about the future of our young people.
Like many area communities, Grandezza is home to numerous residents who have been ardent supporters giving their time and resources to support Junior Achievement.
With much-appreciated thanks to "The Club at Grandezza," members of the Grandezza community are partnering with local businesses to host an all-day event on April 21 featuring an 18-hole scramble golf tournament, "Breaking Par for Junior Achievement."
The Grandezza Golf Classic kicks off with a 12:45 p.m. shotgun followed by a raffle, silent auction, dinner, live auction and awards ceremony led by event emcee Clay Miller of NBC-2 and renowned charity auctioneer Scott Robertson.
Revenue flowing from this inaugural tournament will help Junior Achievement impact more than 12,000 students in Southwest Florida, and fully fund its flagship program, CEO Academy. Teaching the value of free enterprise, work-readiness and economics has been proven to give young people a better opportunity to succeed in our global economy.
I hope you will join us on April 21 at The Club at Grandezza. For sponsorship information or to attend the "Breaking Par for Junior Achievement" dinner and action-packed event, visit www.jaswfl.org/grandezza-golf-tournament or contact Jim Shields, Event Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jodie Greenhoe at Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida at 239-225-2590 or email@example.com.
- Jim Shields is a Grandezza resident, a Junior Achievement volunteer, and a life-long entrepreneur.