Construction to start soon for local Junior Achievement center

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:27 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Richmond and Columbia counties are working together to teach their students financial responsibility.

We sat down with two superintendents and the Junior Achievement CEO about why they wanted to bring the center to the CSRA.

The goal is to allow students to learn real-life learning skills, which is something everyone has worked hard to bring here.

“Overall, I think we’ll look back and say, ‘look, we pulled this off thanks to leadership locally, in a relatively short amount of time’,” said John Hancock, JA of Georgia CEO.

Hancock received a call from Steven Flynt, the Columbia County superintendent because he’s seen other discovery centers in Georgia and wanted to bring one here.

“Anytime we can get students even more involved in an experience around their learning, it becomes a whole another level of learning. This is just a great example of that,” said Flynt.

JA partnered with Richmond County and Columbia County in order for this to come full circle.

Hancock said: “Dr. Flynn and Dr. Bradshaw, certainly the respective school boards have been in favor of this project and finding ways that we could sort of share in bringing it locally. It’s been a dream.”

Leaders have been in the planning process for 18 months. When the groundbreaking takes place on Feb. 9, it’s one step closer to bringing this center to students.

And hopes to benefit them long-term.

Kenneth Bradshaw is the superintendent of the Richmond County School System. He added, “They’ll have an understanding of being an entrepreneur, being a business person. Just being a parent. What all it takes to just run a family and just having all the skills so they can be successful far beyond high school.”

Once the groundbreaking takes place, JA and both school districts are looking for the project to be complete by the end of fall 2023.

When it’s done, there will be 18 storefronts. They also have tablets to help students learn how to budget.