No matter how busy I am, I seem to find time to say yes to people. Actually, as I get older and time starts looking shorter, I’ve actually begun to learn how to say no, and I do use the word – mostly on the business side of things – when I can see that the ROI isn’t really going to pay off.

But when it comes to the stuff that isn’t work related, I do say yes a lot – maybe even if I don’t REALLY have the time. STOP THAT! I have the time. I don’t have kids or grand kids. I have cats. My niece is an adult. Some stuff simply won’t get done – like defrosting the ice maker. And cleaning up the mess behind the garage. But, in the grand plan – for things that really matter – I have the time!

So a few weeks ago, I was at a function at Junior Achievement BizTown here in San Diego and was transfixed by the facility. I had to know more, so I started asking questions. Every day 150 5th graders show up in this functioning mini-city and take over!

BizTown is a simulated city made up of 21 shops on two levels, sponsored by local and national businesses. Students can experience working in a bank, a television station, or a retail store, to managing personal finance such as writing checks and working as a CFO. With a variety of hands-on activities, students have the opportunity to realize the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a simulated economy.

I was so impressed by the facility, I called them up and asked if I could volunteer in some capacity. They set a time for a briefing and handed me a bag stuffed full of completely organized lesson material for the JA Personal Finance class for 9th graders. This program is in a high school and is one of about 10 different in class programs for middle and high school students.

It will take about 5 hours or so in the actual classroom over 5 weeks. And the prep work involved in understanding the lessons and concepts so that I am ready for the classroom will take a few more hours. This program introduces students to the importance of making wise financial choices – something I sure wish I had learned when I was young. Each class has projects and games to help students explore the role that money plays in achieving personal goals throughout life.

Junior Achievement provides financial literacy education that empowers young people to own their economic success. Serving K-12 students in San Diego and Imperial County since 1950.

And lucky you! April is Financial Literacy Month! You can help by donating a little bit of money to help raise $30,000 to support 30 JA classes in 30 days! Just $40.00 can allow the JA to serve an additional student and give them the opportunity to learn essential financial responsibility skills.

Just say “yes!”