Author: Sarah Koci Scheilz
Published: Monday, 07 Oct 2019
In her role as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum for Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools, Dr. Trinity Davis is laser-focused on the educational needs of students across the school district. “Junior Achievement is bringing in the real-world piece that our kids need,” Trinity shares. “Every kid knows about being a doctor, a lawyer and a teacher. But most students are unaware of the countless other careers you can have. Junior Achievement helps our kids understand different career pathways.”
Trinity’s own career began in an elementary classroom in Topeka, Kansas. She later became a professor in curriculum instruction at Pittsburg State University, where she earned tenure. With so much potential on the horizon for the Kansas City, Missouri schools, Trinity was pulled back by her love of the urban core to assist in creating a positive future for the children of Kansas City as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum.
With her eye on an education that prepares kids for the future, Trinity is always looking for people to come in and help students understand different career pathways. “What I’ve found is that no one organization has the capacity to work with our 24 elementary schools,” Trinity notes. “But Junior Achievement does have the capacity to touch everyone. That made it very important and very easy to say, ‘Yes, this works for us.’”
Equity is important when it comes to supplying curriculum to different schools. “I can’t give five schools one resource and nothing to the others,” Trinity explains. “Junior Achievement gives our students what we need, is committed to all our schools and also aligns with what we’re doing.”
When Trinity looks at potential curriculum partners for her schools, she must ensure that all the pieces fit. “Junior Achievement has a curriculum piece that we’ve been able to include in our teaching units,” Trinity says. “The partnership is so fluid, you can hardly tell where our teaching curriculum stops and JA begins. That really enables our kids to have those connections.”
Not only is JA a fit for curriculum, it’s a fit that’s fun. “Our kids, teachers, and principals love JA,” Trinity says. “That’s not the case for everything brought in, but the feedback is always positive on Junior Achievement.” Trinity sees teachers excited about JA coming to their classroom. “They are engaged in the process too,” Trinity adds. “There’s a welcoming attitude.”
When JA professionals share their experiences in the classroom, students get an opportunity to see careers unlike those they interact with each day. “The professional role models in front of students each day are all teachers,” Trinity explains, but career opportunities for students expand far beyond just the education field. “It’s nice for students to see, for example, what an anesthesiologist does and what they went to school to do. Junior Achievement fills the gap for us of putting real-world professionals in front of our students.”
Junior Achievement is also close to Trinity’s heart because of her own entrepreneurial spirit. “I’ve always had a consulting business,” she shares. “It was my way of growing curriculum instruction throughout school districts. Most recently, my husband and I purchased a laundromat in my hometown. It had closed down and there was nowhere for people to wash their clothes. Now, I’m getting to take that over and help out my community.”
In Junior Achievement, Trinity found a program that works for her entire school district. From the rigorous curriculum to the real-world experiences, JA fills a vital gap in education. When you give to JA, you educate the next generation.