ST. CLOUD - At just 10-years-old, Talahi Community school 5th grader Mackenzie Oksa can already tell people that she’s been an elected official.

She was recently elected mayor of BizTown: which is part of a junior achievement program that gives kids a chance to run a miniature town for a day by themselves. Students apply for jobs like the mayor, bank teller or radio DJ, and get a chance to do that for the day.

"It's a place where kids get to see what it's like for their parents or older adults that are going to work and we have many different jobs," Oksa says.

Oksa's 5th grade teacher, Lynda Senger, says to get into BizTown, Mackenzie went through an application and interview process to become mayor.

"She had to run through an application process, she had to interview through me and after she was nominated, she was also voted in by the rest of the 5th graders. So over 100 kids and she got the job."

Once elected, Mackenzie spent a day running the town and quickly learned the fun and challenges that go along with leading a city.

"It's pretty hard being the mayor because we had people calling and then I had to go around and pick the person that's doing the best and the company that I thought was being the best....it was like I was old."

Mackenzie is also involved with soccer and knowledge bowl. She excels with her classwork and even has the goal of skipping a grade in the future.

"My Aunt thinks I'm going to get into Yale or something," Oksa says.

 

Dan DeBaun, WJON