The Search for the South’s Funniest Accountant – laughs for a cause
The 11th Annual Search for the South’s Funniest Accountant was really special. There were several things that made this another great show, but one prominent feature put it into the category of “best ever!”
First, the talent was GREAT — as usual, Tommy Housworth (our comedy coach extraordinaire) was awesome. The Accounting and Financial Professionals were outstanding. My appreciation for the Funny Accountants is always so deep – they work their tails off for the show. This year was certainly no exception.
Second, the vibe was super – Center Stage was packed. We sold over 820 tickets and the crowd was out to have a good time.
Third, and most importantly – We raised a lot of money for a wonderful cause. Through the event we were able to raise enough money for a month of programming at the Junior Achievement Academy at Banneker High School. And if you are unaware of what is going on with the JA Academies, I have to take a quick pause and share with you what is going on…
The JA Academy program is a school within a school model where the kids are offered an interdisciplinary approach to education – including a case-study focus (almost like an MBA program in college). The program is open to any student who is interested – non-exclusionary, and the program has a palpable, positive vibe.
In the case of Banneker, JA took on the challenge of the lowest performing school and set their wonderful programming into full swing. When working with the children at Banneker it is obvious that something incredibly positive is happening. The students are charged up about learning. The teachers are outstanding!
While so many people TALK about improving education. While so many people COMPLAIN about the state of our youth, JA DOES something. The program’s tangible effect on dropout rates, discipline, and involvement is truly inspiring.
And further, the students entering the program have shot up in their academic rankings – up three grade levels in a single year. Just outstanding results!
Going back to the Search for the South’s Funniest Accountant, and what made this year our “best show ever,” allow me to share a quick story with you…
Accountants One signed up to offer the students a Case Study Experience. We worked with the JA staff and came up with a case study around the question: “How can you improve the Search for the South’s Funniest Accountant?”
We headed to Banneker and gave the students an overview of Accountants One, an overview of the Search and then proposed a business problem: how can we improve the show?
We worked with the students over a month – answering questions and directing them accordingly. Then, the case study groups presented their findings. The students shared their findings in a PowerPoint format. They worked in teams communicating a t a very deep level. They clearly had thought long and hard about improvements, and while the students learned invaluable lessons, we may have learned just as much.
In fact, the winning team made a great suggestion – close out the show with a professional comedian. This idea was so good that we contacted “Big A” – Andy Forrester. What a successful idea. You can watch his set here…
So, in the end, even though this show was done for the children, it was their enthusiasm for success that made the night what it was. Thanks to JA for leading the way, and reminding us all how important our students are. By focusing on the JA Academy, Junior Achievement of Georgia is clearly leading the way towards improving the lives of children through our education system!