JA Company Program: Harvesting Entrepreneurs
So you're starting to get the hang of it.
You know that JA empowers young people to own their future financial success. You know that JA delivers K-12 programming focused on the three pillars: financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness. You know students, staff, volunteers and supporters alike demonstrate genuine support by investing time and money into the mission of Junior Achievement.
What you don't know: where is the proof that it works?
My promise is to deliver the cold, hard facts at the end.
But first…a story:
The semester was Fall 2016 and Educator Kirk Helferich was looking forward to another year with seniors, meaning another year of the JA Company program. Why JA? He knows JA programming can harvest effectual, budding leaders by the time they are ready to graduate high school, and he is passionate about facilitating the process.
The JA Company Program unlocks innate abilities in students to fill a need or solve a problem in their community by launching a business venture, unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. During the 13 week program, students learn to generate and manage a business, with business tasks broken down into sessions. Each session is peppered with team building activities in order to maintain focus on the importance of working effectively with others. From creating and presenting a business plan to the JA Board of Directors to final execution of said plan, JA students explore aspects of leadership imperative to surviving in the entrepreneurial world.
By April of 2017, Mr. Helferich's class was operating a successful shirt business, The 616 Shirt Co., with a focus on local pride (616 being the primary area code for West Michiganders). As the students are launched into the "real world" they will have already experienced more than just a taste of what it's like to operate a successful business.
Based on recent JA USA national research conducted in 2016, here is what we know JA is doing:
JA alumni are 36% more likely to graduate from college.
JA alumni become business owners at DOUBLE the rate of the general population.
JA alumni are 64% more likely to have an advanced degree.
JA alumni earn 20% more than the general population.
90% of JA alumni are confident managing their finances.
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JA is empowering our community youth!
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by Jessica Korson
Businesses cannot thrive without understanding finances, marketing, problem-solving, communication, research and so much more. How do you prepare and inspire young people to succeed in business? Read more in GPS Schoolhouse News
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