By Christina Leslie | Staff Writer
Students from Trenton Catholic Academy’s Upper School proved they were indeed “high school heroes” recently with a visit to two elementary schools with the mission of assisting youngsters to become more knowledgeable about money.
A group of 33 sophomore and junior students in the Hamilton school travelled to Paul Robeson Elementary School, Trenton, April 24, and TCA’s Lower School, Hamilton, May 12 as part of the Junior Achievement Program. Accompanied by volunteers from Bank of America and Public Service Enterprise Group, the TCA students and their advisor, Marianite of Holy Cross Sister Barbara Schreier, travelled to the two schools to model responsible fiscal behavior.
TCA students attended two training sessions before their elementary school visits, then, equipped with instructional packets from the Junior Achievement organization, they taught their younger counterparts about the purpose and value of money, how a city depends upon service businesses and retail stores, and other concepts to increase their fiscal knowledge.
“It wasn’t just a lecture,” said Sister Barbara of the all-day presentations by the students. “The students used vocabulary words, there was instruction and them a game or activity. It was really intense: the packets were very well done.”
“I am so proud of our students,” she continued. “The guidance counselors at [Robeson school] asked them to come back to mentor their kids.”
TCA students also benefitted from their time as fiscal instructors.
“Seeing how happy the students were made me happy,” said Keily Escobar. “It was a great experience.”
“This helped me to be a better leader and be more organized,” Maritza Baker noted.
Kassandra Sanchez echoed her classmate’s observation, saying, “My service will help me increase my public speaking skills and enhance my ability to work with people of different characters.”
“Junior Achievement helped me fill a leadership role when talking to younger kids, and it gave me an idea of how to plan out a lesson,” declared Chiebuka Okpara. “I would do it again.”
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise. Programs focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy and career development. Through a dedicated volunteer network, it offers in-school and after-school programs for students, reaching over 4 million students per year in 124 markets in urban, rural and suburban areas in all 50 states – a total of 115 million students since the organization began in 1919.