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Preparing for the future: Volunteers Introduce Fifth Graders to Resumes and Career Paths

Human Resources

By Heidi Kaufman

On Friday, May 20, 2011, Jason Smida, Constantine Mezhinsky, and I had the opportunity to volunteer for Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania. The purpose of the JA program is to prepare and inspire young people to succeed in the global economy. Our assignment included five 30-40 minute presentations for fifth grade classes at Edgewood Elementary focusing on fundamental economic and business principles.

Our fifth grade lessons introduced the relationship between capital, human, and natural resources. Each lesson involved a brief lecture, question and answer session, and group activity. During each group activity, there was time to speak with them individually to answer any questions they may had had and to ensure that they understood the lesson’s objective. I believe the most important discussions we had involved how to prepare a resume, identifying what jobs are in demand in today’s economy, and pointing out what skills and interests are required for various careers.

The Junior Achievement program allows students at young ages to begin thinking about their careers and it also allows professionals from different companies in the area to share their own experiences. Being volunteers for this program provided a great opportunity for us to inform the students the importance of preparing for a career and encourage them to think about what steps they should take to obtain the skills required for jobs in today’s economy. 

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