Mission: To prepare young people to thrive in the 21st century workplace and global economy by inspiring a passion in free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and instilling an understanding of personal financial literacy.
Results: JA alumni graduate high school at a significantly greater rate than peers –uniting them with the region’s best force of volunteers to inspire students to be financially literate, self-sufficient, and embrace optimism, zeal and enterprise.
Geographic areas served: Metro Denver, Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming
Programs: Elementary Programs - Students participate in activities that enable them to learn and understand their role in their family, community, city, state country and world. Students develop skills they will need to work in small and large groups, apply information learned to everyday decisions, and evaluate business decisions and issues.
Middle Grade Programs - Students engage in educational, informational and experimental activities that explore issues that lead to dropping out of school, and the financial, social and personal costs of not graduating from high school.
High School Programs – Give students the tools to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to become involved citizens and productive workers.
Providing eye-opening realizations about how our economy works, how to find and keep a job, make good personal economic choices, and the role that business plays in our lives beginning with kindergarten, the program continues through the 12th grade.
I was a volunteer for JA in a Day. I taught the first lesson to the class, looking into the eyes of 30 strangers. I think looking at each one of them, calling them by name, seeing their smiles, hearing their laughter and knowledge, eradicated our unfamiliarity. By the end of that day, not one of those incredible children was a stranger to me. I knew their family stories, classroom crushes, hobbies, strengths, fears, dreams and aspirations. The children’s willingness to engage, ask questions, share ideas and listen was astounding.
I had never heard of Junior Achievement until I started working at Nelnet in 2007. Since then, I have become a huge supported of them by participating in JA in a Day, which is when you teach all the courses to your class in one day as well as the traditional JA, which is going to the school once a week for an hour to teach your lesson. I remember when I first volunteered, it was for Kindergarten and I was so nervous to get up and speak in front of the class; however, JA does a great job of preparing its volunteers for their classes and the package that includes everything you will need to teach, is very well organized and extremely easy to follow.
My take away from my experiences have been an even more appreciation for teachers as well as my heart lights up every time I enter that class room because you know that you are potential reaching their young minds. I would highly recommend JA to anyone.