Dr. Anne Skleder works with middle school student

Faculty, staff volunteer at Junior Achievement Discovery Center

Jan 24, 2020
Ben McDade

Sixth graders from Gainesville Middle School experienced a challenging day of running a business with the help of Brenau University faculty, staff and administrators, including President Anne Skleder, on Friday, Jan. 24, at Junior Achievement of Georgia’s The Mike & Lynn Cottrell JA Discovery Center at North Georgia.

Two Brenau faculty and staff with middle school studentsKnown locally as JA BizTown, the facility creates a challenging experience for sixth-grade students to interact within a simulated economy in which they take on the challenge of fueling a business. During the course of the day, students discovered the intricacies of being a professional and member of the community and the abundance of opportunities available within their city.

“This is such an incredible facility with a vital mission,” said Skleder, the university’s 10th president who began her duties on July 1 of last year and the first woman to lead the 142-year-old institution. “When I heard that Brenau was participating, I knew I wanted to be a part of the day. I am so pleased that 17 of my Brenau colleagues joined me and made time for this experience in their schedules. We always appreciate the opportunity to partner with others who share our passion for education and for opening a world of possibilities to students of any age.”

Brenau faculty and staff with two middle school studentsJA BizTown opened in August 2018 and last year served over 176,000 students from Calhoun City Schools, Dawson County Schools, Forsyth County Schools, Gainesville City Schools, Hall County Schools and Lumpkin County Schools. This is the third JA Discovery Center in Georgia, and it is located on the grounds of the Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming and Forsyth.

“This is an awesome place,” said Denise Smith, associate professor of accounting. “Every community should have this type of experience for their kids, because nowhere else can these students see the reality of business through what they experienced first hand here.”