The list of subjects 12-year-old Dawson finds interesting tumble out in a torrent of words as he ticks each of them off on his fingers: math, science--especially "frog labs," business, engineering, space, soccer, and bow-hunting, to name just a few.

Dawson, an eighth grader at Oak Grove Middle School in Bloomington, is a veteran of JA BizTown Summer Camp, an experience he found to be so interesting and engaging that he's participated in the business simulation four times over the past four years.

Dawson concedes he was nervous and maybe even a little scared the first time he walked through the doors of the summer camp as a fourth-grader, but he learned to have a good time.

In addition to having fun, Dawson says he learned a tremendous amount about business and life skills through the program. "I would describe JA BizTown as a place where you can learn about living your life as a grownup and how to manage your money and start a bank account and also learn about how to work with other people."

Dawson realized he wanted to be a CEO after participating in the camp because, "You just have a little bit more control over what everyone is doing, and can kind of look over everything people are working on. When I was the CFO, I guess I felt a little more confined to the computer. As CEO, you get to walk around the whole business." JA BizTown gives students the opportunity to experience all sorts of employment positions to gain an understanding of what it would be like to work in the "real world." Dawson stated, "I don't think there was anything about JA BizTown that I didn't like!"

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