Godchaux students face real world

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 30, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / September 30, 2000

RESERVE – Once again, it’s time to face the real world at Leon Godchaux Junior High School.

Teacher Kelli Winzer is getting her students to participate in real life again this year in an effort to make them aware of what will face them after graduation.

Like last year, the students will set up a bank, have jobs and pay bills, and some will even get married in a mock ceremony.

And this year there will be some changes.

The sponsors of the Real World Project, Cargill and Nalco, will offer real jobs to the students with real salaries. There will also be real bill collectorscollecting real money for real debts.

Also, Helen Banquer and Ron Musacchia will run Junior Achievement at the school getting the students involved in creating and running real businesses so they can understand the free market system of economics.

At an assembly last Friday to kick-off the Real World Project, Banquer told the students, “Pretty soon you will be taking care of people like us after we retire. You will be running things, so learning all this now is important.”Banquer and Musacchia are trying to get the Junior Achievement program started in all the schools in St. John the Baptist Parish, and the Real WorldProject is a perfect place for them to start.

Winzer told her students, “This program is designed so that you can improve yourselves. It is important that you all realize you have to learn a skill inorder to get a job and be a productive member of society.”Winzer started the Real World Project in January 2000. This year she hopesto accomplish more.

“The students definitely learned a lot last year,” she said, “and this year we are going to do it on a much larger scale because we have a whole school year in which to work.”With the addition of Junior Achievement and the jobs offered by Cargill and Nalco, Winzner hopes students will get a first-hand look at what it is like to be an adult in the outside world and what it takes to succeed.

“Rap singers won’t do it for you,” Winzner told the students. “The fast dollaris not the way. You must get a quality education and prepare for a real joband earn a paycheck legitimately.

The Real World Project is broken up into several topics for each month. Thismonth the students will learn how to prepare for a job interview.

To help them out teachers Gwendolyn Entremont, Mary Green and Laura Lipps modeled the correct dress styles for an interview.

Cargill plant superintendent Todd Eisenbeisz explained exactly what his company is looking for in an employee, and several Cargill employees told the students what was expected of them as workers.

In October, students will go on real job interviews. Job shadowing will follow inNovember, plus there will be a mock election. Every month the students willdo things like open their own bank, learn about credit and how government and businesses work, have a mock wedding and finally in May the program will culminate in a big Career Day with booths and displays from area businesses and merchants.

In between, students will hold down real jobs, incur real debts and try to get along just like their parents in the real world.

Right now the project has two sponsors, Cargill and Nalco, but they are looking for more. Junior Achievement especially would like to get sponsorsand volunteers to come into the school and give students lessons and examples of a free-market economy.

If any business or individual would like to volunteer for the Real World Project at Leon Godchaux Junior High or Junior Achievement at Godchaux or any other school in St. John Parish, contact Helen Banquer at 652-0091 or faxher at 652-0051.

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