JA Finance Park® graduate and 2016 Entrepreneurship Summit CEO Kurien Thomas, a senior at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, joined JA USA® President Jack Kosakowski and Financial Services Roundtable CEO Tim Pawlenty for FSR's Fall Conference in the District.
In front of an audience of leading FSR members, Thomas shared his thoughts on his JA Finance Park experience and how Junior Achievement inspired financial capability, as well as his passion for business and entrepreneurship.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to speak with you all tonight about my JA experiences and how they’ve helped empower me with real tools to transform 'I can’t' into 'I can,'" Thomas said. "JA Finance Park allowed me real, hands-on practice in a space where it was OK to make mistakes. That’s knowledge not every student gets within the walls of a typical classroom. I learned that a single paycheck often pales in comparison to all of the other financial responsibilities any one person has to account for. I managed paying medical and dental expenses for my entire family, while paying monthly installments on my car, and then factoring in insurance and mortgage costs. It was definitely not easy, but at the same time it was fun."
Thomas, who attended JA Finance Park as an eighth grade student in 2012, thanked FSR members for their commitment to organizations like Junior Achievement and ended his remarks with a promise. "I am so thankful to have been a part of Junior Achievement, and I hope to use the skills it has taught me to do phenomenal things after high school. Thank you all for what you do to make Junior Achievement a great organization, and I hope we students can contribute back to our community just as much as you all have contributed to us. We won’t let you down," he said.