How a 3rd-Grade Lesson Transformed My Life

by Ben Geiger | October 14, 2019

When I was growing up, I recall countless adults who invested in me and other students by volunteering their time, giving their resources, and setting an example. I especially remember one volunteer who taught my third-grade class a series of Junior Achievement lessons. Throughout the Junior Achievement curriculum, I learned how to write checks, balance a checkbook, open a savings account, and learn the importance of saving money. I loved each lesson and couldn’t wait to be just like our volunteer!

Junior Achievement was founded 100 years ago in 1919. They are the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Fast forward a few years, and it is no surprise I am a Financial Analyst at Syverson Strege and now a Junior Achievement volunteer. On a day-to-day basis as an analyst, we are meeting with clients, answering questions, finding solutions, creating financial plans, and assisting our clients in every way we can.

As Syverson Strege employees, we are encouraged to use our God-given talents and resources to better our communities. I have chosen to be a volunteer for Junior Achievement because investing in the next generation is important. Using my day-to-day work of creating solutions to financial situations, alongside my passion for helping others, I am able to further equip students for the future by teaching a series of lessons about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. The most rewarding aspect of being a Junior Achievement volunteer is seeing the light bulb go on as students begin to understand the concepts we are teaching.

A few Syverson Strege employees had the opportunity this summer to volunteer at a Junior Achievement event called BizTown! BizTown is a community “simulation” where students come to learn the basics of running a business, paying bills, receiving a paycheck, making deposits, paying off loans, and much more. Students are given a job within the community and are able to experience how all of the jobs and businesses work together.

My work with Junior Achievement and my work with Syverson Strege clients are both very rewarding. In each case, clients and students are able to utilize a strategy that excites them and see positive outcomes. I find great purpose in my work, thanks to our clients and great volunteer opportunities!