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Young Americans Center for Financial Education has wrapped up its first week of Virtual Programs. The Center ran four engaging, faced-paced courses focused on small class sizes and led by our expert instructors!
One of these programs was Girls Can: Career Exploration, led by Young AmeriTowne Belmar Director Susan Weimer. Girls Can is designed to teach young women in fifth and sixth grade about different career options and to dive deeper into topics surrounding those careers. The four-day program focuses on investing, credit, marketing, micro credit and loans, and empowering women. Each day, participants heard female community leaders speak about their jobs and how they became successful in their careers. They also took time for “brain breaks” each day; these are 5 minute breaks where participants did a mini workout, played a game, or just chatted.
Susan was initially nervous about the format, wondering how to keep participants engaged, how to make it fun, and how to promote the friendship and camaraderie characteristic of in-person summer camps. Quickly, these concerns went out the window. “I found my students to be engaged every day with the learning content, eager to make new friends, and excited to come back every day,” she commented.
Parents and participants echoed this sentiment. One student said her favorite part about camp was, “making new friends.” She and another participant exchanged usernames for a computer game and played together every day after virtual camp. Another participant provided this feedback about the guest speakers: “I learned more about their jobs and how they came to having that job. I also liked all the inspirational things they had to say.”
Parent Elizabeth Pexton has a daughter that participated in the program. She is registered for an in-person summer camp, too, but added this virtual option to help provide some structure to the summer. “I am very grateful for this class,” wrote Elizabeth. “It taught and honed some skills for [my daughter], and boosted her confidence in many ways.”
As a culminating activity, participants played “The Amazing Career Game.” They answered trivia, customer service, ethics, and math questions to unlock salaries, earn bonuses, promotions, and ethical badges. Due to time constraints of the program, the students weren’t able to play every simulation; they had to choose two out of the five career options to play through. As a true testament to how much she enjoyed the experience, one participant asked if she could play through each career over the weekend.
There is one more Virtual Girls Can: Career Exploration session scheduled this summer: June 29 – July 2. With room for only 15 participants, this session is filling quickly. Reserve your spot today!