Katie | Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City

Katie | Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City


Katie Dearing, an educator and Junior Achievement alumna, chose her career based off the inspiring role-models in her youth. “My teachers influenced me a lot. I had teachers I really connected with who made me love this profession.”

Katie finds Junior Achievement’s curriculum to be a perfect fit for what she teaches kids in her classroom’s mini marketplace. “The third grade Junior Achievement program is geared towards money, business, and entrepreneurship. It adds another layer to what I’m already trying to teach them.” The synergy between her classroom economy and Junior Achievement reinforces important concepts at a critical age. “Learning about spending and saving is huge. Junior Achievement takes the things I’m trying to connect for them and pushes it further.”

For many of Katie’s students, their Junior Achievement experience is the first time they learn about the role money plays in life. “Some kids have zero concept of money at this age. Things just appear.” Junior Achievement provides important insights to deepen kids’ understanding of this world. “Now when they go to a restaurant, they will know the people serving them are at a job and that working is how people earn income.”

The impact of Junior Achievement volunteers goes far beyond teaching students about dollars and cents. “Having five weeks of lessons opens their mind. The exposure makes connections. it’s important for kids to see community members involved in education. It’s crucial that they see education is more than the four walls of this building,” Katie said. The value of this exposure goes both ways. “It’s also good for volunteers to see what happens inside the four walls of a school.” Katie encourages other educators to welcome Junior Achievement volunteers to their classrooms. “It gives a big-picture outlook on so many parts of life. If we didn’t do Junior Achievement, I’m not sure these kids would understand money.”

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