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Summer camp gives kids a glimpse of life in the workforce

Hiring Hoosiers
Posted: 6:00 AM, Jul 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-03 09:02:11-04

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INDIANAPOLIS — You’re never too young to learn about the workforce, and all the hard work it takes to get hired for a job, run a business, and even pay off loans.

Junior Achievement of Central Indiana’s Biztown summer camp aims to do just that and teaches kids as young as kindergarten all these skills.

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One of those kids is Rachel Hamilton, who one day hopes to be a doctor. She has some lofty goals, and the confidence some adults even lack.

“I don’t think it’s overwhelming,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton has already gotten a taste of what life in the workforce is really like through her job inside a mock Steak ‘n Shake.

“I’ve learned how to do business checks, and pay loans and things like that,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton is a camper at Junior Achievement’s Biztown this summer.

"We have kids ages 9 to 12, and they come here, and they also run a business," Alyssa Andis, vice president of education for Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, said. "They have the job for the day, every day they have a new job within their business so they get to learn about different responsibilities and they create a business plan, they create inventions, they have patents, all sorts of really amazing opportunities."

The goal is for these kids to be confident in financial literacy, work readiness, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

“It’s so critical for students of all ages to be exposed to careers and pathways and life skills,” Andis said. “Those soft skills are so needed for them to be successful. We want to prepare them early so when they’re able to become on that path after high school, whatever it is, that they’re successful in life.”

LEARN MORE | Junior Achievement of Central Indiana's Biztown summer camp

Andis says it’s proven that kids who are exposed to these experiences are more prepared and successful in the future.

“I think we see that students are not coming out of high school with those skills, and employers are having a hard time finding the right hire,” Andis said.

The earlier they can teach those skills, while having fun of course, the better.

“It’s important to be on time, it’s important to be respectful, those small things that are kind of the life skills that aren’t being taught every day are really the most important part of maintaining a job," Andis said. "So I think that is incredibly important to teach that as early as Kindergarten.”

If this camp sounds like something your child would be interested in, there are two more sessions taking place in Indianapolis this summer.

The first is July 15-19, the second is July 22-26.

Junior Achievement of Central Indiana also offers scholarships to the camp, so all kids are able to attend.