Minding Their Own Business

June 01, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Coral Springs, FL – Students at J.P. Taravella High School are getting a taste of running a business this year, thanks to a partnership between the school and Ameriprise Financial Services. The program, a Partners in Education initiative gives students practical, hands-on knowledge of the challenges and rewards of owning their own business.

In December, students met Tom Pratt, Financial Advisor @ Ameriprise Financial Services and were introduced to their “Partner” who will lead the How to Start and Operate a Business program throughout the year. The first session was a brief overview of “Why” start a business. Every phase of the business was explained, from manufacturing, to sales and distribution and finance.

On February 14th, the students had the “Grand Opening” for their own business. Students used concepts learned in the classroom with Ms. Laurie Acosta as well as “practical application” sessions with Mr. Pratt to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to operate their own company.

For the first session, students had prepared questionnaires to identify and validate a business need. Students then utilized math skills to compute the cost of making the products, sales costs and profit. Through the Marketing segment, students realized the importance English structure and grammar plays in successfully influencing people to invest in their product/service. During the research phase, the students transitioned their Social Studies knowledge into hands on “skills” when collecting and analyzing demographic, geographic, environmental, political and social diversity data.

“Our students combine the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom with the practical life skills they learn through our partnership with Tom Pratt @ Ameriprise Financial Services,” said Mr Karl Weaver, Assistant Principle of J.P. Taravella High School. “Tom has opened up the world to our students and stimulate them to think beyond what they know today. The partnership absolutely enhances student achievement. We appreciate the time and talent Mr. Pratt has given to our students,” said Ms. Laurie Acosta, Marketing Instuctor/DECA Advisor of J.P. Taravella High School.

The partnership is a significant benefit to Ameriprise Financial as well. Companies that support education are widely regarded as high-quality organizations. Partnerships with schools keep employee morale high, and employees find they enjoy the interaction with students.

Companies that form partnerships with schools also know that they are helping educate the workforce of tomorrow. Students introduced to the world of business are more likely to stay in school and pursue their career choice.

“We find that our employees look forward to participating in the Partners In Education Program. Employees plan interesting exercises for the students, and this creativity keeps them engaged in our business. Our customers tell us they admire the enthusiasm and commitment to education demonstrated by our employees.”

Partners In Education is a program of Broward County Public Schools. Founded in 1983, the program is dedicated to improving student achievement by cultivating and integrating business, community and school resources for all students in Broward County Public Schools. All Broward County Schools are available for new partnerships. Businesses may make commitments of time, financial resources or other support, based on the need of the school and the type of business.

Businesses or community organizations interested in forming a partnership with a school may contact the principal of the school directly. For a complete listing of Broward County Public Schools and contact information, please see the District web site, www.browardschools.com. Additional information regarding Partners In Education is available at www.browardpartners.com or contact Nina Randall, APR, Executive Director, at 754-321-1974 or nrandall@browardschools.com.