Each year, local Junior Achievement advocates and board members host their peers and request personal financial support for Junior Achievement programs in the Big Country. Each year, guests of the JA Breakfast show up increasingly more generous! This year marks the highest revenue mark from the event. Thank you to the generous donors who have helped us raise more than $55,000 in the one-hour event.
Held on October 31, Hendrick Health Systems hosted and presented the 7th Annual JA Breakfast. In the spirit of Halloween, students from Lee Elementary School dressed in the uniform donned by the professionals in their hopeful future careers. Pictured above are two representatives from Lee Elementary interviewing the Abilene City Manager - Robert Hanna - during the JA Breakfast program. It would be an understatement to say that these two bright young ladies "stole the show."
Pictured left - The rest of the program was emceed by Sawyer Moss (6th grade student at Mann Middle School) and Misti Collier (JA Board Member and Mortgage Officer at Abilene Mortgage Center). The emphasis of this year's JA Breakfast was on helping the guests Imagine a Brighter Future for local students. Sawyer told personal impact stories of how Junior Achievement has better prepared him in two of the organization's three pillars of content: financial literacy and work readiness. First, Sawyer shared with the audience his "Spend - Share - Save" Box that he and younger brother Asher utilize to manage their allowance and other financial earnings. This is an implementation of money management tools learned in several of the JA programs Sawyer and Asher have completed while in elementary school. Second, Sawyer told the audience that would like to be a Sports Commentator when he grows up. JA helps students dream about their potential careers. But it is also in our mission to prepare them to accomplish those dreams.
JA's final content pillar - Entrepreneurship - was highlighted inspirationally by JA Fort Worth student Jakayla Dixon. Jakayla is a sophomore at Eaton High School Business Academy in Northwest ISD and is the President and CEO of JA Company Feel the Color. Feel the Color is a company that creates embroidered fabric tags with braille, alphabet lettering, and symbols . This enables the visually impaired to determine the color of their clothes by literally feeling the color of the tag that is in their clothing. Feel the Color provides the visually impaired people with independence and confidence! Inspired by her Aunt Cynthia, Jakayla's aspirations for Feel the Color is that designers will want these tags in their clothes and that she will be able to secure government contracts to provide those with visual impairments who live in low income settings the opportunity to accomplish a simple daily task at a low cost price. She hopes that Feel the Color will be used for the visually impaired around the world. The goal is to see the visually impaired conquer all aspects of getting dressed in the morning and know that their outfits are well coordinated and that they look good.
If you would like to hear from Jakayla yourself, check out this video from PBS' American Graduate Day 2017 special which aired earlier in October.
Ultimately, the 2017 JA Breakfast was a major success both in (1) telling the JA story and (2) encouraging local friends and colleagues to financially support JA.