Nashville students discover careers through JA Finance Park

Community News

A new, state-of-the-art program from the Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee (JA) will help students discover more
about petrochemicals and potential career opportunities at Marathon Petroleum.

The 8,000-square-foot Finance Park asks each student, grades 7-12, to become an adult for the day. While at the park, each student is given the opportunity to experience their own personal finance needs in a real-life setting of stores, shops and other businesses. The purpose is to provide students with foundations to better make personal decisions as they move forward with their educational careers. It’s also intended to inspire independence and empower the student to take control of their lives.

“Finance Park is geared toward high school students, and it’s all about their career paths,” says Carole Raley, Nashville terminal senior administrative assistant. “Kids will come into this setting and discover the different careers that are out there, everything from banks and finance to grocery stores to the trades.”

And, of course, the oil and gas industry.

The Marathon ‘stop’ in Finance Park features information about careers throughout MPC. There’s a video that shows the students the history of the company, as well as the varied professional opportunities, including refining, marketing, logistics, transportation and accounting. “Even boat captain,” says Raley. Across the top of the career section, it reads ‘Petroleum fuels opportunity.’

In addition, the room features a three-story cutout of a house. All throughout the home, the petroleum-based items that the students use in their everyday lives are highlighted: ball point pen, window frame, cell phone, utensils, etc. Across the top, students are reminded ‘Petroleum fuels our life.’

“So, in addition to teaching students about career opportunities, the hope is that our booth will offer an educational outreach platform to let people know we aren’t the bad guys,” says Raley, the driving force behind MPC’s participation in the Finance Park and an active volunteer. “This will remind these students that oil and gas companies are very important to every aspect of our lives.”

“Not only are we a nationwide company, not only do we fuel countless items you use every day, but Marathon is a great
place for opportunity,” says Raley. “And the Finance Park will go one step further and help the students understand the educational needs to go into that field. It will really help inspire and guide these students.”

Marathon has made a three-year commitment to be a part of Finance Park and help change the lives of Nashville-area students.