PRESS RELEASE: Boston Middle School Students Show Off Business Savvy at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston


Boston Middle School Students Show Off Business Savvy at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Education Nonprofit Partners with Boston Businesses and Marketing Firms to Offer Real-World Professional Experience for Local Students

Boston, MA – Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – Few middle school students are thinking about the best marketing or investment strategies for business clients, but the number of students in Boston who are doing just that is growing.  On Monday, 120 Boston middle school students were at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston sharing their ideas for marketing campaigns, business proposals, investment plans, and ways for students and families to save money for college. 

The presentations were part of an event organized by Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit designed to help improve student achievement through expanded learning days and skill-building apprenticeship programs.  A core component of the Citizen Schools program is their unique apprenticeship model, offering students real-world learning experiences in fields ranging from law and finance, to culinary arts and astronomy.  Students are connected with local professionals who volunteer to teach one afternoon a week for ten weeks.

This fall, 300 volunteers from more than 40 companies worked directly with students, sharing their expertise and bringing learning alive for students.  Monday’s event focused on apprenticeships in the business and marketing categories and included apprenticeships taught by 10 companies in the Boston area, including Fidelity Investments, Bank of America, Barclays, and many others. 

One project focused on strategies for spreading the word about Boston’s First Night Festival.  Students worked with marketing professionals from Jack Morton Worldwide, Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Fidelity Investments, Allen & Gerritsen, and Google to develop marketing plans for driving attendance at the annual event.  On Monday, students presented their plans to a panel of judges and an auditorium full of spectators.

Additional presentations ranged from new business pitches to investment plans. Students who worked with professionals from Bank of America designed their very own t-shirt and developed a business plan, including identifying a manufacture, customers and pricing. 

Roy Fralin, a Director at Fidelity Investments, worked with a small group of students this fall on an investment curriculum developed by the company.  Students learned the basic terminology and financial management skills critical for their development into responsible, money savvy adults.  Through the applied knowledge of budgeting, saving, investing and more, students were empowered to assist a real client with their investment plan and to make smart financial decisions themselves for years to come.

"Volunteering with Citizen Schools was a personally rewarding experience for me and I hope, for the kids I've worked with over these last 10 weeks, "said Fralin.  "I tried to show them how important money management is by demonstrating how it's applicable in their lives and going beyond just saving and spending.  By working together as a team, they learned about respect and effective communication.  It was great to have a direct impact in helping to educate children through such a terrific program."

Monday’s event was attended by hundreds of parents, business leaders and other community members supporting Citizen Schools’ mission.  “Support from the Boston business community provides an invaluable pool of resources to grow our program offerings for middle school students, furthering our goals to improve student achievement,” said Pat Kirby, Executive Director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts. “An experience working directly with professionals from various fields helps students make the connection between doing well in school now and future success.”

About Citizen Schools Founded in Boston in 1995, Citizen Schools is a leading national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country.  The organization uniquely mobilizes thousands of adult volunteers to help improve student achievement by teaching skill-building apprenticeships. Programs blend these real-world learning projects with rigorous academic and leadership development activities, preparing students in the middle grades for success in high school, college, the workforce, and civic life. Citizen Schools currently operates at 37 middle schools in seven states, serving 4,400 students and engaging 4,000 volunteers nationwide.