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BEHIND THE SCENES / Orange County

In the Business of Futures

July 23, 1998

What's one way adults can celebrate helping kids become future business leaders? By acting like kids themselves.

About 800 supporters of Junior Achievement, a nonprofit group that teaches students about personal finance and entrepreneurship, gathered at the new Dave & Buster's restaurant and arcade at the

Irvine Spectrum recently to do

just that.

For a $25 admission (all $20,000 went to Junior Achievement), they enjoyed a buffet and for hours played virtual-reality golf and old-fashioned pool and took on high-tech flight simulators. There were carnival midway and arcade games, all accessible with a swipe of Power Card.

Geoff Wilson, executive director of Junior Achievement in Orange County and the Inland Empire, says 26,000 local students from kindergarten through high school benefit from the program each year.

Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 to generate interest in student projects and businesses. Companies have supported it over the years with financial donations and by providing instructors in the classrooms. Once an after-school program, the economic education organization--the nation's largest--is now integrated into the curriculum.

* For more information, call (714) 734-0387 or e-mail at jaoc@worldnet. att.net. The local Web site is http://www.volunteercenter.org/ja. The national organization, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., can be reached at http://www.ja.org.

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