Intuit Volunteers Bring a Dose of the “Real World” to Fifth- Graders as a part of The McGrath Family JA BizTown Experience

(Intuit volunteer with students give JA BizTown a thumbs-up)

Employees from Intuit Inc., the international leader in the finance software industry, took a break from their day jobs, to impact the lives of 60 fifth grade students by volunteering at the McGrath Family JA BizTown this week.  The accounting professionals helped students from Saint Therese and St. Martin of Tours Academy discover how the “real world” works and tackle some of the challenges of running a profitable business and managing personal finances.

The volunteers were assigned to a group of 3-8 students in each of the 21 life-sized San Diego businesses in the thriving 10,000 square-foot mini-city on January 29.  As a part of the McGrath Family JA BizTown program, the students earn two paychecks, opens a banking account, manages a debit card, pays taxes, votes and much more.

Although the time spent at the McGrath Family JA BizTown is only a few hours, the professional skills and personal life lessons learned have a lasting impact on the students, and the corporate volunteers also walk away with their own personal stories as well.

“We are thrilled to work with the students as they take on the world of grown-up responsibilities for the day,” said Patrick Prado, Sourcing Specialists at Intuit.  “It is important to help our students achieve their dreams outside of the classroom by giving them meaningful workplace experiences.” 

(Patrick Prado, sourcing specialists Intuit helps JA BizTown students find new parents for their furry friends at the San Diego Humane Society shop)

Prado volunteered in the San Diego Humane Society, where the students learn how to care for animals, how to diagnose illnesses in pets, and how to educate future pet owners on proper care and treatment for pets.   

Prior to their simulated work day at the McGrath Family JA BizTown, the students participate in four weeks of project-based, interactive curriculum in the classroom, focusing on citizen rights and responsibilities, how to manage personal finances, how to apply and interview for a job and how to run a successful business. They then put all of the concepts they have learned into practice by becoming working citizens of the McGrath Family JA BizTown.

"It is really hard work," said student George Reinig, who served as CEO at the San Diego Union-Tribune Shop. "It is stressful trying to meet the deadlines and everything happening all at once, but it also pretty fun!"

(Intuit volunteer with students working at the San Diego Union Tribune shop)

“Every one of the students has the opportunity to feel personal satisfaction after spending the day working hard at their jobs,” said Intuit volunteer Krithika Sairamesh, who worked in the San Diego Union Tribune shop producing the daily newspaper.   “I am learning so much, maybe even more than the students.  I am completely blown away with this program and wish I had the McGrath Family JA BizTown when I was in school.”

To ensure youth are prepared for their future, JA teaches them how to get a job, start a business and how to manage their money. During this school year, more than 15,000 5th graders will be “employed” through the McGrath Family JA BizTown program. However, this amazing program would not be possible without the support of our passionate volunteers and dedicated shop sponsors.

We invite you to help support the McGrath Family JA BizTown program, and become a part of impacting the lives of our future business leaders and our economy. Get involved now to support early career and financial education by volunteering with your company or sponsoring a JA BizTown scholarship.

(Intuit volunteer with students working at the Cox Media shop)



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Kristi Zimsky

Kristi Zimsky

PR and Social Media Manager