Chaifetz School of Business' Service Leadership Program partnered with students and staff from across Saint Louis University to teach Junior Achievement business concepts to students at Gilkey Pamoja Preparatory Academy at Cole.
Unlike many other public schools, Gilkey Pamoja at Cole's mission is to be a global model of African-centered teaching and learning, a center and community of academic excellence and uncompromised expression.
"We say certain things like 'hodi hodi' which means 'may I enter' and 'karibu,' which means 'yes, you may enter'." said Christopher McNeil, Principal of Gilkey Pamoja at Cole. "We really build upon the 7 pillars of Nguzu Saba [unity, self-determination, work & responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith]."
"What we’re trying to do is build a sense of culture and heritage," said Principal McNeil.
"In African culture, we have this thing called the Sankofa bird that represents reaching and giving back, so that's what we like to do. We appreciate Saint Louis University and Junior Achievement reaching back and helping our students learn different principles in business," said Principal McNeil.
Junior Achievement incorporates business skills not always taught in schools' curriculum, and they strive to empower the kids that they interact with to be even more impactful than the generation before.
"It is an advantage for our young students to have people in their community coming to their classrooms to volunteer. Saint Louis University is a college that's right around the corner, and these elementary and middle school students can certainly aspire to become college students at SLU," said Fancheon Ford, Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis' Senior Program Manager.
At Junior Achievement, they believe that education from kindergarten to twelfth grade should be built on a bridge of engagement between classroom and community.
"Being a part of JA as a child is the reason why I was interested in finance at Saint Louis University. I'm extremely passionate about helping these kids and being that light to spark their interests in business and finance,"Tamika Clay, Saint Louis University MBA/MHA
The Chaifetz School of Business' Service Leadership Program provides business students the opportunity to develop their skills while becoming men and women for others through coursework, leadership workshops and 200 hours of community service. The Service Leadership Program hosts opportunities throughout the year to serve the St. Louis community.