Derby Ridge Students Learn Business Leadership

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COLUMBIA - Derby Ridge Elementary students learned the basics of being an entrepreneur Monday. It was all a part of a program called "JA in a Day," hosted by international non-profit organization, Junior Achievement. 

Volunteers and community business leaders taught Kindergarten through fifth grade students entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. There were volunteers from companies like Kraft, IBM, and Veterans United. 

According to Derby Ridge Elementary assistant principal Rachel Mazzocco, the idea was to teach students about the community around them and how they fit into the mix.

"I really want our students to see outside of their neighborhood and to recognize that they are members of the community in their city," Mazzocco said.

Mazzocco said in a lot of ways learning these skills matches the core district curriculum the students are taught throughout the semester. For example, fourth grade students just wrapped up a lesson on geographic regions across the United States. With the Junior Achievement program students learned how entrepreneurs use the region's industries to their advantage when starting a business. 

Derby Ridge Elementary is the first school in Columbia to work with Junior Achievement and host "JA in a Day." Junior Achievement looks to empower students with the tools to accomplish a successful economic future.