An important aspect of Junior Achievement programs is the ability to be effective with all types of students - ethnic groups, “at-risk” students and students with various ability levels. According to teachers, there is a consensus that all JA students are better equipped to think critically, solve problems and take on different perspectives than are students who have not participated in Junior Achievement.
Junior Achievement volunteers are now inspiring over 18,300 students (K-12) in the Central Kentucky area. These student numbers represent approximately 750 classrooms. The student goal for 2015-2016 is 19,550 students in 850 classrooms throughout Central Kentucky.
As Junior Achievement continues to grow, the recruitment of business volunteers to teach our in-school programs is always a major challenge. The economic downturn in 2008 not only impacted the fundraising opportunities for Junior Achievement, but it has also affected the volunteer side of the organization. Many people are now responsible for more and more job functions within their business, so the flexibility to leave the office has been greatly reduced.
The mission of Junior Achievement (JA) is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. JA offers educational programs that focus on three pillars of success: entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. Junior Achievement’s financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurship programs support youth, economic and education development as follows:
“Junior Achievement offers a multitude of opportunities for volunteers. The classroom experience allows business and community leaders to stay involved through the teachers and students and provide a unique perspective in the learning experience for the children. Through Junior Achievement, the free enterprise system is further developed and enriched ensuring a bright future for American business and entrepreneurism.”
Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass is a non-profit organization focused on the promotion of the “free enterprise” system of business in order to develop the youth of our communities and enhance the education experience for our students. This goal is achieved through many activities including partnering with local school boards, classroom presentation, student interaction with business leaders, and development of our communities through volunteerism.
The strategic goals of the organization revolve around three primary areas:
Brand establishment – in order to further develop and enhance the Junior Achievement brand, certain activities should be identified and executed:
Promotion of volunteerism as a community value – develop business and community relationships which enhance the aspect of volunteerism as related to JA.
Establish JA as a community “asset” – introduce JA from an “asset” perspective, noting the long term value of the organization:
development organizations, and local government officials to discuss JA as a strategic advantage.
With the support of positive adult role models who volunteer their time, JA enables students to understand business, citizenship, economics, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, and work readiness. Our programs also encourage confidence and motivate young people to achieve their personal, educational, and career goals. These learning experiences establish the foundation upon which today’s students can acquire the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in a fast-changing world.
Junior Achievement’s success lies in our unique delivery model which contains four distinct advantages:
· Delivery System of diverse volunteers who serve as presenters in the classroom.
· Flexible, Proven Curriculum supported by discussion guides and activity materials that are enhanced by volunteers’ personal experiences.
· Experience-Based-Learning that enables students to gain knowledge through a variety of age-appropriate, hands-on activities to help them understand the relationship between school learning and successful participation – application - in our economy.
· Volunteer and Teacher Training that provides orientation programs each semester in addition to staff support, program resources, and ongoing services throughout the year.
Junior Achievement programs are independently evaluated on a scheduled basis to ensure the highest quality. Results from national evaluations show that Junior Achievement’s programming has significant educational impact on students. Additional, longitudinal results demonstrate that extended involvement in Junior Achievement increases the positive effect of the program.
Long-term gains are achieved through Junior Achievement learning, as well. In a 2001-02 study, Worldwide Institute for Research and Evaluation (WIRE), in collaboration with JA Headquarters Education Group, surveyed 750 Junior Achievement students when they were in the sixth-, ninth- or twelfth-grade. When asked to explain the free enterprise system, students who had participated in Junior Achievement demonstrated a much broader understanding and provided more sophisticated responses than did students who had not participated in Junior Achievement. When the Junior Achievement students were asked about their school and work attitudes, 86 percent of sixth-graders, 73 percent of ninth-graders, and 40 percent of twelfth-graders indicated that Junior Achievement had positively influenced their attitudes toward school. In addition, 79 percent of the ninth-grade students suggested that Junior Achievement had increased their positive attitudes toward working.
In a follow-up 2002-03 study, WIRE surveyed the same 750 students when they were in the seventh-grade, tenth-grade, or first year post-high school. The more Junior Achievement programs the students had experienced, the more likely they were to report taking personal responsibility for their own behavior, a characteristic that has been correlated with success in adult life. The post-high school students also reported having benefited from Junior Achievement experiences, stating that Junior Achievement had affected the decisions they were currently making regarding preparing themselves for their careers and better prepared them to make future decisions. They indicated that Junior Achievement had provided them with information that was relevant to their classes and work roles, as well.
Additionally, the seventh- and tenth-grade Junior Achievement students, as compared to students in general, were significantly more likely to believe they would graduate from high school, pursue postsecondary education, and graduate from college. The post-high school students also stated that Junior Achievement had affected the decisions they were currently making and better prepared them to make future decisions.
The JA lessons are taught by adult role models from the local community, including businesspeople, parents, and university students. JA recruits volunteers throughout KY to educate children using both JA's professionally developed, time-proven curriculum, as well as the volunteer's own experiences from the professional world.
Junior Achievement (JA) programs help support the Commonwealth’s college/career-readiness goals for all students. Junior Achievement’s classroom and lab-based programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy – all skills that will help Kentucky students compete in the highly competitive, global marketplace. I applaud Junior Achievement’s business partnerships which serve to strengthen JA’s programs and provide our students with real world expertise that will benefit them as they enter college and the workforce. We are pleased to include Junior Achievement Programs on the Kentucky Department of Education’s Best Practices Web page.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507