NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nissan North America, Inc., has supported Junior Achievement (JA) of Middle Tennessee for more than 10 years, but this is their third year to support the Awareness Breakfast as title sponsor at Nissan Stadium on August 1, 2017.
This year's breakfast kicked off Tuesday with featured speakers Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Sean Henry, president and CEO of the Nashville Predators.
The Awareness Breakfast provides JA an opportunity to feature some of their students that have experienced the 18 programs, tell organizations, employees and interested parties who they are, what they do and the impact they make in our community, and educates them on how they can get involved with JA. The event gives their board members and their respective companies (such as Nissan) an opportunity to share their JA story with fellow co-workers and encourage them to get involved in giving hope to youth.
"I'm always a little amazed how many people say 'I'm just not a numbers person' or 'I don't do numbers,' " said Gov. Haslam. "I always think everybody has to do numbers and you have to understand how your checkbook is going to balance. If you have more money coming in than you have going out, which are the basics. Junior Achievement is practical assistant taught early to students so they are prepared for the rest of their life."
Gov. Haslam was appreciative of the Titans support to JA and commitment to the community. "The Titans are literally involved in the community. We want them to say - it's not about our mission - but about a broader mission for the community. Because the Titans have done that, they have helped us in any number of ways and I think people buy in even more to the team, as this is our team and I for one really appreciate that."
"We are here to honor and showcase our kids because they are our future," said Trent Klingensmith, Junior Achievement President. "The goal this morning is to bring awareness for the opportunity to help kids in school and show them that they have value and can succeed in life."
James Story, who has been involved with JA for more than 5 years, served as the event chair. "There is a huge need not just in the Nashville market but statewide to help inform kids and educate them on financial matters. It's information and education I don't think we are getting in our schools today. Junior Achievement does a great job of educating kids on entrepreneurship, how a business works, making investment decisions, insurance and a variety of other financial considerations."
Sam Holt is a Junior Achievement student and serves as the Mayor of Junior Achievement BizTown. "It's important to me so I can learn to do business in the future. It also helps me learn about economics, money, budgeting, checks and balances."
Tracy Kornet, WSMV Ch. 4 news anchor, hosted a Q&A panel featuring students from Brentwood Academy. The students recently won a national award for the company they created called "Good Nashville" that netted more than $5,000, which they donated to the Nashville Rescue Mission.
"Student today experience with money is the credit card or paying online so they really don't understand that transaction and they aren't able to connect he value of the dollar to their spend," said Robyn Williams, Nissan's senior manager, business transformation. "It's really important for Junior Achievement to come in and give that foundation of financial literacy that will create the basis for them to be successful in their career, lives and family."
Junior Achievement is solely dedicated to preparing youth to lead healthy financial lives. Their volunteers engage, equip and inspire through financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs. They reach 31,000 K-12 students in Middle Tennessee on an annual basis.
It is through events like the Awareness Breakfast that help build on current relationships and cultivate new in an effort to work together as a community so that we can build the foundation for our youth's future.
Junior Achievement's staff and volunteers work hard to give young people the hope and skills to succeed in work and life… because their future… is our future.
About Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee
Locally, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, a franchise of Junior Achievement USA, provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement offers classroom-based programs, JA BizTown, JA Job Shadow, and the JA Company Program to students in Kindergarten through high school. Founded in Middle Tennessee in 1957, Junior Achievement now operates in 18 counties in the region, reaching over 31,000 students annually in over 2,000 classrooms throughout Middle Tennessee. For more information, visit www.janash.com.
The Titans hosted a Junior Achievement Awareness Breakfast with featured speakers Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Sean Henry, president and CEO of the Nashville Predators. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)