By Raymond Lackey, Construction Project Manager for Samsung Electronics America in Plano, TX.
Imagine 10- and 11-year-olds running a successful business, earning money and handling their personal finances – all while making new friends and having fun. I wanted to help make that happen, so I chose to team up with Junior Achievement BizTown during this year’s Day of Service, in Plano, TX. Every year, Samsung Electronics America closes its offices across the U.S. for a day so employees can engage in community service with non-profit organizations in the communities we live and work in.
JA BizTown helps fourth through sixth graders expand their horizons and prepare for their bright future. The Junior Achievement program pairs in-class learning with a day-long visit to a simulated city, where students operate businesses, earn money, pay taxes and even vote. At BizTown, kids get a fun introduction to real-life situations involving careers, money and work-life management. I have school-age children myself, and this program has sparked conversations at our dinner table about career options and the effects our children’s choices will have on their future.
On Day of Service, we saw students’ eyes light up as they started to understand everyday budgeting and operating in the business world. They even had to plead their case in front of a judge when they were slapped with fines and fire-code violations!
All of my fellow Samsung colleagues and I enjoyed our time with the JA BizTown students, helping them gain experience with real-life issues for the day.
After seeing our collective impact on Day of Service each year at Samsung, not only am I very proud to work for a company that believes in enabling people of all backgrounds with unique educational opportunities, but Day of Service has inspired both myself and my family to continue to give back and be mentors in the community when we can. It just feels good to give a smile to those in need!