Young AmeriTown Interview with Julie Worley with The La Junta Chamber of Commerce

Description: Local Schools participate in Young AmeriTown on the Road, with the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, hosted by the La Junta Chamber of Commerce at the La Junta Armory, sponsored by Three Corners Connector.

Published: 03/09/2023
Byline: SECO News

Julie Worley Interview LJCC Young AmeriTown

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Young AmeriTown Interview with Julie Worley with The La Junta Chamber of Commerce

SECO News: This is Adrian Hart with your Southeast Colorado News on I'm here with Julie Worley from The La Junta Chamber of Commerce, and we're talking about Young AmeriTown. It's been a week long event going on at the Armory here in La junta. We've had a handful of schools participate. Do you want to tell us overall about the event?

Worley: Yes. It was a event that's been hosted by the La Junta Chamber of Commerce sponsored by the Three Corner Connectors and fifth and sixth graders from various schools came into Young AmeriTown on the road, or we called it town.

SECO News: Okay. It's a mockup of a fully functional town. I noticed it seemed a little heavy on the media side for companies, but we like to see that, cuz that's not really what we have going on here.

Worley: So the kids would come to town, it was set up out at the Armory, and they got jobs. They could work in the radio station, they could work in the medical center, the bank, we had a sign shop. We had a newspaper office, a snack store, a manufacturing store.

SECO News: I saw they had a container store.

Worley: That was the manufacturing store. If you ordered a briefcase from the container store, they had to make it for you.

SECO News: Oh, okay.

Worley: Yeah. And then we had a television station. There was a curriculum that went into the classrooms before they came to town, and they had to interview back in the classroom for each job they had. They in the classroom elected a judge, a mayor, who was gonna be the policeman in town and the accountant for the city.

SECO News: So it sounds like it's more than fiscal responsibility. They were learning about the functions of a town.

Worley: They are, yes. And they also learned there was a piece of philanthropy in there. The young AmeriTown there had selected three statewide nonprofit organizations that the kids could use some of their AmeriTown money, and for every dollar of AmeriTown money that they gave to the organization, the young AmeriTown would match with a dime to go back to the organization.

SECO News: Very cool.

Worley: I don't even remember what the organizations were, but the kids knew they'd learned back at school. So that was a piece of it. Of course learning back at school, the kids had to give speeches if you wanted to run for judge or if you wanted to be the mayor.

SECO News: Oh, they had to go through their mock election?

Worley: Yep. So it was, that's a very hands-on learning experience for fifth and sixth graders. We had Manzanola school here on Monday, we had Crowley County Schools on Tuesday, Campo Vilas, and Pritchett on Wednesday, and then Rocky Ford today, Thursday.

SECO News: Wow. It was really valley wide.

Worley: Actually, I sent information to all 22 schools in the seven counties in Southeast Colorado.

SECO News: Okay. We're expecting them to come back. Do it again and maybe we're gonna grow and make it a little bigger.

Worley: Yes. So they'll have an opportunity to get on board and help with that fiscal education.

Worley: Exactly. And all of the events or all of the things that they do at rural AmeriTown aligns with the state standards for fifth graders and fiscal responsibility and math the teachers all week long have been amazed at what the curriculum contained and they really said they need more time to get the curriculum into the classroom. So we're working on that for next year.

SECO News: Very good. Thank you very much, Julie. Anything to add?

Worley: No, I just I thank the Young Ameritown on the Road for bringing it down. It's the first time that it's ever been in Southeast Colorado.

SECO News: I'll tell you what, next year. Let's add a social media company.

Worley: Okay. . We could maybe do that.

SECO News: We could do a digital marketing agency. It seems like it would fit in well with the other media out there.

Worley: With the television and the radio station, and the newspaper.

SECO News: Exactly. Why not represent all of us?

Worley: Very good.

SECO News: Thank you very much, Julie. I appreciate your time and commitment to the community.

Worley: Thank you. I enjoy doing it. I like working with the kids and entrepreneurship and this sort of thing.

SECO News: All right. Very good. For the La Junta Chamber of Commerce and the People of Southeast Colorado, I'm a Adrian Hart with your Southeast Colorado News.

Worley: Thank you.

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