How Gwinnett Businesses & Schools are Benefitting Our Kids

Suzanne is a proud board member of the Environmental & Heritage Center, a crown jewel in Gwinnett County’s long list of unique and impressive educational and enrichment facilities. To keep their quarterly meetings fresh and educate members about all Gwinnett has to offer, the organization explores different venues for each board meeting.

They recently visited the phenomenal Junior Achievement Discovery Center at Discovery High School in Lawrenceville, which CBS News calls a ‘game-changing’ school.

The school features an entrepreneurship center with two Junior Achievement of Georgia programs, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park.

Photo courtesy of Junior Achievement of Georgia

Quick facts about “JA Biz Town”:

  • 150 6-7th graders visit every day to run a business, with many getting a role as a CEO, marketing person, etc.
  • Students learn everything from marketing and selling a product, to earning and depositing a paycheck.
  • An 18 lesson program is taught within the grade’s classes with the culmination being a visit to the Discovery center, giving every student in the system a “real world” environment to apply their studies.


Quick facts about “JA Finance Park”:

  • Aimed at 8th graders, “JA Finance Park” has a personal finance focus, helping them learn how to balance a budget and prepare for life’s unexpected events.
  • Students make decisions about higher education, careers, jobs, spending (buying a car!) household expenses and more.
  • Each student gets a financial profile, a savings account, a salary and a credit score among other things to make the experience as real as possible as they approach 18 storefronts and make budgeting decisions.

The best part? There are no student fees associated with attending either area, as GCPS and the business partners in each park pay for the expenses.

It does take 20 community volunteers every day to help run Biz Town. (great volunteering opportunity!)

The Results

Since it’s opening, 28,000 have students have experienced this impressive center which will help shape their lives and improve their odds of financial and career success.

  • 100% of teachers found that JA BizTown creates a ‘real world’ experience and the engagement among the students particiating is exceptional.
  • 97% of students agreed that after participating in JA Biztown they feel good about themselves and believe that school is important to them.
  • 94% of volunteers found their participation with JA to be personally rewarding and would recommend volunteering to friends and colleagues.

At Holtkamp Heating & Air, we strongly believe in investing in our community and our children, so to Gwinnett County Schools and Discovery High School we say ‘Bravo!’

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