On January 22, 2010, 16 MBA students and 1 faculty became educational heroes. In the worst economy since the Great Depression, these members of the UNC Kenan-Flagler community took a two-hour drive to KIPP-Pride High School in Gaston, North Carolina to teach young African-American high school students incredible business insights. This endeavor is called Teach For A Day and it was started by former KIPP teacher and UNC Kenan-Flagler alumnus Danielle Brown ’09.
Adrian Watson ’11, and Janelle Funderburk ’11, taught a class called “Credit Score.” In it they gave the students the tools to determine how to make personal financial decisions that not only will protect their credit score but will improve it. I witnessed how students worked in ‘family’ teams to figure out how to make the same financial decisions that their parents must make. In fact, as they were teaching, the resident teacher sent a two paragraph email to the senior coordinators about how great the lesson is.
Katie French ’11, Parker Wilson ’11, and Jenny Parker ’11, taught a class called “World Trade” where through hands-on activities (and a little imagination) these MBA students inspired both an entrepreneurial spirit and a greater understanding of international trade in these high school students.
James Dunn ’11, taught a class on automotive engine design where inspired future engineers got to hear about James Dunn’s prior vocation as a mechanical engineer and a designer of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Jeb Terry ’11, Coleman Greene ’11, and Tim Baldwin ’11, taught “How to Start a Business.” The class was quite dynamic, especially considering Mr. Terry’s fame as a former NFL player, and the youth came away with the inspiration to become young entrepreneurs.
Teague Monger ’11, and Erin Warner ’11, taught a class called “Stock Floor Simulation.” This class was visionary. It taught the youth that it was more important to purchase the company they like than just purchasing the product it makes. Not only did they gain a greater understanding about how to invest in a company but they gained a greater understanding of the importance of business to the American economy.
Emily Lambert ’11, and Andrew Dunn ’11, taught “The Principles of Leadership.” Through explanation, simulation, and discourse they gave students the prerequisite understanding for future leadership. The most important point of the class was understanding the power of persuasion. These youth will encounter (and have encountered) massive peer pressure. The key is not just to resist negative peer pressure but to catalyze positive peer pressure. Their class is so important to these youth because the lesson reinforces the culture of the KIPP model. This culture is the reason why, for nearly a decade, KIPP Pride High School has had a 100% college acceptance rate.
Juan Michel ’11, and John Sabia ’11, did a great job with the class “Want to be a Millionaire.” In this class Sabia and Michel taught something that is so important and so fundamental to personal finance that without understanding it people are doomed to the prison of debt. That something is the ‘time value of money.’ By end of the class the youth had a full understanding of the importance of saving and investing and an understanding of how debt works against you.
Last but not least we enlisted the expertise of a young UNC Kenan-Flagler finance faculty member Dr. Pab Jotikasthira, Ph.D. and the expertise of Dr. Mike Shen, Ph.D., MBA ‘10 to teach the class “The American Dream.” In this class, Drs. Jotikasthira and Shen taught the importance of purchasing and owning a home. Critical to our last economic crisis was the stability of mortgages and the preservation of home equity. The students that attended this class surely understood how important it is to purchase a home within one’s means and the class was designed so well that it fit with the lessons from the Credit Score class.
Below are some quotes from some UNC Kenan-Flagler participants:
After six months of studying profit and loss and pricing, I was reminded during Teach For A Day of the importance of doing something for free—and the payoff that follows such an act. Moreover, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be at a place like UNC Kenan-Flagler, and how crucial it is for me and other students to leverage what we learn here to impact and inspire those who aren’t as fortunate. – Tim Baldwin ‘11
The experience of witnessing excitement and innovation from the creative minds of young students was inspiring to all of us involved in the process. I now have a meeting with Dr. Jim Johnson to pursue potential educational certification, as I had a talk with a KIPP teacher following our class. I have long considered pursuing a job as a teacher. Friday served as another confirmation that I may end up in the classroom instead of a boardroom. –Parker Swann Wilson ‘11
I found the experience very rewarding and fulfilling. The thing that moved me the most was walking around the room and listening to the students engaged in meaningful discussions about how to solve the problems that were presented to them as part of our lesson. –Adrian Watson ‘11
It was an awesome experience with a great group of my classmates. We put in a lot of work getting ready for it and the pay off for us was special. KIPP is an impressive program from the teachers down to the students. Every person is so passionate and motivated by what they are doing each day. Overall, it was a memorable day and I am glad I was able to participate in the program. –Coleman Greene ’11
As coordinator of this mission of community service, under the wise guidance of Dr. Peter Romanella, Ph.D., and the notable assistance of both Emily Lambert ’11 and Cedric Johnson ’10, I am proud to have led this team of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s finest to serve the next generation of American youth for one day. More importantly, the participating MBA students have learned the importance of giving back, particularly giving back to youth who show such promise but have such economic disadvantage.
Taalib al’Salaam ‘10, Coordinator, Teach For A Day