Birmingham Police Impart Economics Lessons to Middle School Students

The Ensley neighborhood of West Birmingham, Ala. sees more than its share of crime. Birmingham police officers are common neighborhood fixtures. But recently, 18 police officers reported for duty at Ernest F. Bush Middle School dressed as civilian Junior Achievement volunteers. They were there to deliver JA Economics for Success in the JA in a Day format.

Jennifer Hatchett, director of marketing for Junior Achievement of Greater Birmingham, shared a story that aired on the local ABC station about the visit. The volunteers were led by Deputy Chief Irene Williams. Williams said the JA program materials provided clear instructions to help the students choose careers and then consider the pathways that lead to those careers. "Students need to get good study habits in place. To get these jobs and careers is going to require they put in some effort. We want to let the students know there are a lot of decisions along the way to get there. We want to chart a path to show them how to get there and that it's attainable," Williams said.

Williams says decisions aren't just learned in the classroom or found in textbooks. They're also about who the students befriend. "Friends can take you up or they can take you down, so you need to associate yourself with good people."

Students seemed to grasp the concepts well. Miguel Page is determined to run for the nation?s highest office?after a career in teaching.

"College is going up $1,100 a year, so before Im in 12th grade, I'm going to get a job and my own bank account," Page said. "I want to change the world."

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