Becoming Students and Teachers for the Day

Recently, and for the 4th year in a row, a team of RedCloud consultants and HQ staff spent a day as elementary teachers for our annual “JA Day” in partnership with Junior Achievement of Washington. JA of Washington is a non-profit with a mission to support and inspire young students to succeed in their future endeavors.

This program focuses on enhancing standard schooling by having professionals, like our RedCloud team, instruct students with a curriculum that focuses on the development of lifelong skills like workplace readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. According to JA of WA, 49% of U.S. employers recognize that talent shortages impact their ability to serve clients and customers. An overwhelming 91% of millennials wish they had greater access to entrepreneurial education programs. These are a few reasons why RedCloud decided to partner with JA of WA almost 5 years ago!

For this JA Day, 23 RedCloud team members made their way into 16 classrooms at Redmond Elementary to interact with dozens of students. For our team, stepping into a classroom can feel a bit nostalgic, bringing us back to the times in our lives when we dreamed of what we would become as adults. These familiar feelings encourage us to share our “real-world” experiences with these bright-eyed students to empower them in their futures.

A few themes that came out during this year’s instruction included:

  • the importance of being part of the communities around us,
  • the jobs within those ecosystems to care for others, and
  • the financials involved with being independent

 

The students have a basic understanding of these topics but talking through them with real-world examples while providing an outside perspective helps to solidify these learnings. A big part of JA Day is allowing students to have space to dream out loud and talk about what kinds of businesses and jobs they want to have someday. When we talk realistically about their dreams in business and entrepreneurship, students begin to think about various financial implications for themselves as well as the local community. We believe by educating students, we will empower the younger generations to overcome challenges they face later in their careers.

One of our team members, Karen Middaugh, reflected on the day spent in the classroom:

“The kids were creative, smart, and already so aware of the outside world. I think we learned as much as they did! Thanks to RedCloud for providing such a wonderful and inspiring opportunity.”

Both the students and our team members learned so much along the way, and we always look forward to the next JA Day on our calendar. Junior Achievement of Washington spreads so much inspiration throughout our region and we are proud to call them a partner to RedCloud.