Business Scholars Volunteer at JA Finance Park

Students at Junior Achievement
Lubar students Van Luciano (far right) and Sam Keehan (second from right) with middle school students at the Junior Achievement Finance Park

A group of Business Scholars in Professor Joan Shapiro Beigh’s seminar course recently spent a Friday morning volunteering at the Junior Achievement Finance Park, where the Lubar College of Business has a “storefront.” The park’s simulation lab provides a reality-based, hands-on economic educational program to introduce middle and high school students to new concepts centered on personal finance, decision making, and career exploration.  

The tweens and teens from area schools were presented with a persona for whom they built and balanced a monthly budget, under the guidance of the Scholars. They “visited” businesses and “paid” bills for real-world expenses covering their cell phone usage, health insurance, clothing, food, transportation, housing, utilities, and more. 

The Lubar volunteers helped the students understand budgeting and other financial concepts to help them allocate the income they were provided without overspending.

“This was a great volunteer and leadership opportunity for us,” said Francessca Magyar, a junior. 

Senior Maddie Krall agreed. “I loved the chance to serve the community and even learned a few things!” 

“It was very rewarding to work with kids and teach them the basics of savings and budgeting,” shared senior Erik Genskow. “I got lucky with a good group of 8th graders who were interested in the exercises we were doing and curious about the activity. The kids, teachers, and other volunteers were grateful we were there, and it felt good to know I had started my day making a small difference in their lives.” 

“This activity was geared to helping students learn that giving back to Milwaukee is both fun and rewarding,” said Shapiro Beigh. “Junior Achievement has taken a creative approach to helping young students learn the basics of personal finance, and it’s important for our students at the Lubar College to see innovation in action.” 

Senior Phareda Be confirmed. “For us as Business Scholars, it feels good to give back to our community. I had a great time and would be happy to volunteer again at JA in the future.”