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Monday, 19 March 2012 14:16

Wesley Lentz, Wiser Financial Group

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Wesley Lentz,  Wiser Financial Group PHOTO: T.J. Hamilton

Wesley Lentz believes it is his responsibility to help youths understand what business is all about. That’s why he teaches through the Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan: to give back the knowledge and resources he’s learned over the years.

On Fridays, Lentz — a financial planner at the Wiser Financial Group in Kalamazoo — takes a few hours out of his day to visit two 5th grade classes at 12th Street Elementary School in Portage, where he involves students in the world of entrepreneurship.

He said the traditional school system fails when it comes to teaching them what it really takes to become successful in a highly competitive business world.

“The first lesson is everyone has the potential to have a big idea, but in a global organization what does it take to get that product out there,” he said.

Based on three “pillars” of student success, the privately funded Junior Achievement program is meant to teach kids financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

“It’s about building basic skill in math and writing, teaching students to be independent and bringing in real life examples of how things work in the real world,” Lentz said.

One lesson Lentz put to the students is to come up with their own company, a product, how it changes the world and how they would price it. Another is modeling out a global company, using a piece of string with each student acting as part of the supply chain. Other activities include learning the ins and outs of a resume.

Lentz said a mentor from his own life is partially responsible for him getting involved with Junior Achievement.

“When you do any type of service work or you’re providing someone a service it’s because you have a passion for it,” he said. “It’s just fun.”

Read 1825 times Last modified on Sunday, 12 August 2012 10:45

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