Community Connect
Office of the Vice President for Community Services

College of Business

High-impact program for UTSA business students


Pictured are students at Boldt Elementary receiving the 4th grade curriculum

Pictured are students at Boldt Elementary receiving the 4th grade curriculum, “JA - Our Region.” The 4th grade students are learning about entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs use resources to produce goods and services in a region. Junior Achievement students operate a hypothetical hot dog stand to understand the fundamental tasks performed by a business owner and to see how money comes into and goes out of a business.
- Photo courtesy of Bernadette Byrd.

For 15 years the UTSA College of Business has been a leading advocate of stu¬dent service learning through its innovative partnership with Junior Achievement of South Texas (JAST).

Junior Achievement is the largest international nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students in grades kindergarten through high school on business subjects affecting their personal and professional futures.

Dr. Bennie Wilson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management and an executive committee member of the JAST Board of Directors. Dr. Wilson is also currently a member of the UTSA Outreach Council. In 2002, the UTSA Outreach Council spearheaded a proactive program to forge a simpatico relationship between the professional capabilities and the academic needs of UTSA business students through the teaching of age-appropriate business principles to area K-12 students.

Since that time, through JAST, Wilson and two of his fellow faculty members— Dr. Sandra Flores and the late Prof. Penny Powers—have taught an upper division course on business communication and professional development. These classes have provided their students the oppor¬tunity to exhibit their business knowledge and verbal presentation skills in the real-world environment by teaching young minds the nuances of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.

The impact of the work that these UTSA professors and students have had on the South Texas area has been tremendous. Since the beginning of the partnership in 2002, JAST and the UTSA College of Business have marshalled the enthusiasm and hard work of nearly 8,100 business students in teaching and mentoring more than 165,000 K-12 students throughout Bexar and surrounding counties.

The local, state, and national significance of their continuing achievements was reflected when UTSA was awarded the United States President’s Bronze Volunteer Service Award last year in New York City, with Wilson accepting the award on behalf of the University.