Meet Taylor Simmons!

 

Image caption: Taylor Simmons - Program Manager

Taylor is one of our newest additions to the Tulsa office and she started July 13, 2021. She is our new Program Manager in the Tulsa area. Prior to starting at JA, she graduated this May from Oklahoma State University where she majored in Human Resource Management and minored in Marketing. We’re so happy to have her! Read more about her below!

What is your “JA Story?”
I have been through two JA programs, JA Biztown and JA Finance Park, as a 5th and 12th grader. With the help of my teacher, I was able to speak of my experience with Finance Park in a video for Junior Achievement. After that I had the opportunity to speak at JA’s Tulsa Tycoons event about my experience with the program. I was able to meet so many business leaders and volunteers who were shaping our community’s future.

What makes you passionate about working in this organization?
Knowing the impact JA had on my life, it is a dream to work for this organization so that I can help impact other kids’ lives as well. The memories made with JA are not fleeting and the life skills gained have been put to good use.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work I love to travel and experience different atmospheres, cultures, and values. I enjoy spending quality time with my family, friends, and pets. I seek adventure and making memories.

What is an impactful lesson you’ve learned about money?
Save. Save. Save. Know the difference between your needs and wants. The best way to set yourself up for the future is to budget and understand the impact of your spending.

Your JA Alumni Story:

What JA programs did you participate in?
JA Biztown & JA Finance Park

What year and what school did you participate in JA?
5th grade 2010 Skelly Elementary & 12th grade 2017 Memorial Senior High School

What was your experience like?
My experiences were nothing short of wonderful. I felt so grown up the day I worked at Biztown and so proud to be the photographer for the Tulsa World newspaper. My mom volunteered that day and worked in the mayor’s office. I was able to see all my friends working, taking lunch breaks, and buying products from other businesses. Finance Park is a simulation where you are given a fake persona with a set income and lifestyle. You must learn how to budget your expenses, separate needs from wants, and ultimately try not to go into debt while doing it.

What did you find most meaningful and impactful?
Luckily for me, the two programs I participated in were Capstone programs for JA. Both JA Biztown and JA Finance Park were very impactful and memorable. JA Biztown was a small glimpse into an adult life that felt like it was so far away at the time. As a 5th grader I learned how to write a check and that is how I know today. I experienced JA Finance Park as a senior when adult life was about to hit me and that was my wake-up call. After that day of budgeting and paying expenses, the appreciation I gained for my parents was overwhelming.

What about the experience has stuck with you and made you want to work with JA?
What has stuck with me the most is the fact that I am able to recall my experiences with Junior Achievement better than most of my experiences throughout K-12. I know the impact that the curriculum has had on me as well as my peers.

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