Biztown Kids Get to Know Finance

Marianne Kushi

Back in the day, kids used to get allowances.  That's when you could spend it anyway you want or save it like your parents would prefer.

But fourth and fifth grade students from Linda Vista Elementary School took their book learning about high finance to another level when they tested their skills in the grown-up world of Biztown.

Junior Achievement Biztown is a make-believe town, based on a real-life San Diego, where140 students take on the role of grown-ups.

From CEO to mayor to bank teller, doctor, construction work, fast food worker to lawyer to TV reporter to cable technician they bring home a paycheck, deposit their savings and if they don't watch it, run into debt.

Give 7 volunteers from NBC7/39 joined others who gave of their time to advise the kids when they needed direction.

Fourth grader Angel Martinez is CEO of Biztown's Chase Bank for the day. She says she's learning how to deposit checks and that working with a team is better than working alone.

"They get the 'aha', they get the 'wow', they get the 'this is what my mom and dad do,' this is what they have to do to get me what I want and what I need," said Biztown coordinator Sadie Saullo.

Fifth grader Victor Ruiz who is in the role of CEO of Best Buy already is thinking ahead. 

"First I want to go to college and plan how my future is going to be then I want to buy a house and then I'm going to probably get married, have two kids, " Ruiz said.

He gives his parents credit for teaching him some pretty eye-opening lessons so far.

" I know they care about me and when I grow up I'm also going to try to help them when they grow up so I'm going to split my paycheck in half and give half of it to them," he said.

How many parents are thinking -- how can I teach my kid that? Now you can understand why Victor is CEO.

And then there's Velne Barud, a fourth grader who's a newspaper reporter for Biztown's San Diego Transcript. She's proud to say she'll be an artist or an architect or a "blue printer" when she grows up. 

"I'm very good at drawing. I draw animals, people, I draw portraits, genres, landscapes and still lifes," Barud said while smiling broadly. 
She says her Mom is the one who influenced her and that she gets her inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci.


The kids weren't the only ones who learned something here. Grown-ups learned wisdom and motivation comes at all ages.

If you'd like to volunteer for JA BizTown  or if  you'd like to know more about enrolling a child into BizTown summer camp you can click on

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