Baptist Opens Its Junior Achievement BizTown Storefront

Baptist Memorial Health Care held a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Feb. 7 for its new Junior Achievement BizTown storefront. The storefront features a Wellness Wheel to motivate students to live healthier lives and interactive activities aimed at inspiring students to consider health care professions. Baptist team member volunteers also hosted three sixth-grade school groups from Treadwell Middle, John P. Freeman Optional School and American Way Middle.

BizTown is a simulated model of Memphis that teaches middle schoolers about city government and business. The program combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to BizTown, where students operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks and vote for mayor of their “town.” The activities are aimed at creating a strong workforce in Memphis and the surrounding areas.

President of Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Leigh Mansberg said, “You can’t have a strong city without healthy business, but you can’t build a strong business without a strong city.”

BizTown is located inside the new 16,200-square-foot Junior Achievement Wang Experiential Learning Center, which opened on Friday, Jan. 20. The center, named for Memphis entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert Wang and his wife, Susan, will serve Mid-South students from kindergarten to 12th grade, teaching real-life skills to help kids succeed. It’s located in Binghampton at 516 Tillman Street, the site of the former Save-A-Lot grocery store.

Senior Community Outreach Coordinator Ann Marie Wallace stated, “We want to create a greater pipeline of youth who will consider health care as an occupation. We’re also trying to help students understand the importance of businesses budgeting for health care coverage.”

“Knowing the health components of the Wellness Wheel in our BizTown storefront can also help participants take control of practicing and achieving a healthy lifestyle,” said Ann Marie.

Some of the other storefronts at BizTown include FedEx, International Paper Company, Regions Bank, Terminix and Smith & Nephew. The storefronts offer students hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, civics and financial literacy. The center also features Finance Park, geared toward seventh graders. It combines a classroom curriculum with a high-impact simulation and serves as a foundation for personal financial literacy education.

Junior Achievement is projected to serve more than 25,000 children this year. Around 90% of those children are from Shelby County. Visit Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South to learn more or volunteer.