Garden Hills Elementary welcomes Buckhead Business Association for Career Week

About 30 representatives from the Buckhead Business Assocation and the Atlanta community participated in Garden Hills Elementary‘s Career Week programming on Thursday and Friday. Bankers, attorneys, Realtors, entrepreneurs and others visited classrooms to share their life and business experience with students. Why talk about something so far off in the future? “We wanted to expose our students to a broad variety of the options that will be out there for them,” explained Garden Hills Principal Amy Wilson. “We give the Buckhead Business Association a lot of information of the curriculum that our children study so they can better tailor their message, and they clearly emphasize the general importance of staying in school. We have a lot of students who don’t have many opportunities to get an idea about careers outside the service industry.”

Businessman Amado Izaguirre (pictured, above right) has seen the professional world from several different perspectives. A native of Tunas, Cuba, Izaguirre emigrated to the United States in 1967 and began attending Garden Hills Elementary and eventually graduating from Mercer-Atlanta. He spent several years in the upper levels of the corporate world, serving as a top executive for CareerBuilder and Lexis-Nexis. After spending several years abroad and then in Chicago, he and his wife returned to Atlanta where he has resettled in the Garden Hills neighborhood and bought his own Molly Maid cleaning franchise. (His  wife is a vice-president at a local bank.)

While visiting Lisa Kiani‘s third-grade class, Izaguirre stressed that while it’s too soon for students to worry about what career they’ll choose, they should spend this time grasping practical applications today that will serve them tomorrow. “The business I currently run, in general, isn’t relevant; what’s important is that I run my own business and there’s a certain skill set required to do that,” said Izaguirre, who was making his first return visit to his old school. “And you need to have those fundamental skills like reading, writing and math to run a business. I tell them, I need to understand the types of chemicals I use in households every day, and I have to use them properly. I have to think about the best way to run my business economically, which requires math skills.”

Jill Heineck, Education Alliance chair for the BBA, says the association enjoyed the opportunity to support Garden Hills. “It is really special to be able to partner with a school that values a cohesive team effort consisting of community, business and faculty members to bring real-world experiences into the classroom, giving the students a well-rounded education,” Heineck said. “The volunteers had an absolute blast with the kids. We look forward to participating in future events!”

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