Cox Enterprises Partners with Junior Achievement of Georgia to Impact Middle School Students in Metro Atlanta

Staff Report

Friday, September 30th, 2022

Today, Cox Enterprises proudly cut the ribbon on their storefront in JA BizTown at the JA Chick-fil-A Discovery Center. As a business in JA BizTown, the Cox storefront gives 6th grade students a glimpse into the realities of adulthood while offering them an opportunity to navigate those complexities in an authentic, hands-on environment. Cox joins more than 40 other local and national companies at the JA Chick-fil-A Discovery Center, which serves more than 30,000 middle school students annually.

"As a board member of JA for almost 10 years, days like today are really special to me," said Dallas Clement, president and chief financial officer for Cox Enterprises. "Creating community resources like JA BizTown is a big reason why we partner with Junior Achievement, and it is an important part of Cox's goal to empower 34 million people to live more prosperous lives by 2034."

Cox has been a Junior Achievement of Georgia sponsor since 1997, and employees regularly volunteer at the JA Discovery Center. JA Discovery Centers are authentic environments where middle school students connect knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world concepts. Students work alongside their peers and adult volunteers in JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park® as they develop a greater understanding of financial concepts, build 21st century skills, and foster their entrepreneurial spirit.

JA BizTown allows 6th grade students to interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of starting and running a business. After in-class curriculum around the circular flow of the economy and what it means to be a citizen, students have a job within one of the many storefronts in JA BizTown, and they learn what it's like to work that job. Students earn (and spend!) a paycheck, pay taxes, vote for their elected officials for the day, and ultimately work with their peers towards a common goal of paying back their start-up loan. Volunteers guide students through the simulation and provide their own life experiences to help students discover the endless opportunities their futures can hold.

JA Finance Park allows 7th and/or 8th grade students the opportunity to manage a household budget and learn about personal finance. After in-class lessons on subjects like budgeting and credit scores, students are assigned a random 'life situation' with an education level, salary, and family scenario. They visit storefronts representing the major line items in a budget – housing, utilities, food, etc. – and work towards providing for themselves and their families within their assigned means. Throughout the day they apply for car and home loans and discover the impact a credit score has on financial well-being. Volunteers guide students through the simulation and provide their own life experience to bring authenticity to the experience.

"We are grateful and excited to officially welcome Cox Enterprises into JA BizTown," said John Hancock, President and CEO, JA of Georgia. "Cox's presence in the simulation space will give our students an inside look at a large multinational communications company that is headquartered right here in their own community. We are looking forward to students being able to experience their futures through the lens of the Cox brand."

With locations in Atlanta, Cumming, Dalton, Lawrenceville, Savannah and soon to be Augusta, more than 40 percent of all middle school students in Georgia participate in this programming.