During the fall semester, local business and community leaders visited classrooms in four LaGrange County schools to deliver relevant, fun, and hands-on experiences that give students knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.
These programs are provided by the local Junior Achievement (JA) Board of Directors in LaGrange. Throughout the program, volunteers helped prepare 299 young people to succeed in the global economy by empowering them to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world.
The local JA board believes this learning is vital as the community remains mired in persistent economic challenges. “The Junior Achievement programs enhance the relevance of classroom learning and increases their understanding of the value of staying in school.” said JA Board President Erica Barrows of Kuntry Lumber. “The results are proven – 15 years of program research show that JA programs prepare students to proactively manage their finances, become entrepreneurs, and develop skills that will be recognized and valued in a global workplace.” said Lena Yarian, president of Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana.
Those community leaders sharing their business savvy with students this fall were: Sheryl Rhinesmith of LaGrange REMC; Kathy Troyer of Troyer Saddlery; Sarah Bontrager of Lake City Bank; Stan Strater of the Topeka Police Dept; Ron Eash of the Town of Topeka; Jim Campos and Kim McKibbin of the LaGrange Sheriff’s Dept; Stuart Bender of the Topeka Fire Dept; Sara Evers of Farmers State Bank; and community volunteers Pat Wiltshire, Maurice Berkey, Loma Hoffman, Angela Yater and Ray Hedstrom