JA In The News - Junior Achievement of Central Illinois

JA is Really Newsworthy!

Staffing Update: Welcome Heather

We are pleased to announce that Heather Sexton is the newest addition to the JA of Central Illinois team as our Development Manager. She brings a strong set of skills that will allow her to continue to cultivate relationships within the communities served by Junior Achievement of Central Illinois.

Heather brings more than 14 years of diverse cultivation and development experience ranging from higher education, community development, agricultural education, legislative and political relations. She most recently served as an Executive in Career Development with Learning for Life (LFL) - an affiliate company of the Boy Scouts of America. During her tenure, she furthered the LFL mission by creating immersive career opportunities for youth ages 10 to 20 years of age. Prior to her time there, she held various positions in political advocacy and development with Illinois Farm Bureau and Lincoln College.

Heather attended Lincoln College and University of Illinois and is a central Illinois native. Calling Lincoln her hometown, she lived in Atlanta, IL for ten years before relocating to Peoria in 2015 with her husband Jake and children – Lexi, Trey, and Grant. We are happy to have Heather on our team and invite you to join us in welcoming her to the Junior Achievement family

January is JA Alumni Month

Were you involved with Junior Achievement as a kid? If you were, you were one of 100 million young people who have experienced JA since the organization’s founding in 1919.

Whether you started a business as part of the original JA Company Program, learned about possible careers through JA Job Shadow, made decisions as a “grownup” in JA Finance Park or JA BizTown, or had a JA volunteer come to your classroom to teach you about business, careers and how money works, Junior Achievement hopefully had a positive impact on your life.

Each year, JA reaches nearly 5 million students across the United States. Locally, Junior Achievement of Central Illinois implements programs for approximately 15,000 students each year. But there is more that can be done. Junior Achievement’s programs are needed now more than ever before. 

If you’ve ever thought about reconnecting with Junior Achievement, becoming a JA volunteer is one way to do it. JA makes volunteering fulfilling, with flexible scheduling options. Our curriculum provides everything you need to make participation in JA valuable and engaging for students.

For as little as an hour a week, you can make a difference in the lives of young people in our community. Your Junior Achievement experience will leave you feeling proud, energized and hopeful about a better future for our young people.

Come back to Junior Achievement and help us bring the real world to a new generation of students. Your support helps bring the JA experience to more schools and students in our community, opening students’ minds and making a positive impact on their lives.  Connect with Junior Achievement of Central Illinois today through our easy online form or by contacting Angie Houck at angie.houck@ja.org.

The Money Jar #110: Is Productivity Slowing Down?

With technology and this information age, we always hear “the world is changing faster than ever”. But is it? Today’s guest makes the case this is not true.  He says economic growth is slowing down in America, and this has huge implications for your future. Todd and Evan interview Professor Robert Gordon, an influential economist who makes the case for how productivity may be slowing.

Robert Gordon is an economics and social science professor at Northwestern University and author of “The Rise and Fall of American Growth”. To hear more from Robert see his TED Talk and interview on NPR’s Planet Money.


Audio Player

Volunteer Opportunities

Below is a current list of central IL area schools in need of a JA volunteer.  There are many other schools participating in JA this year.  If the school you are seeking is not on this list, they may be pending next steps for Fall semester participation, may have Spring semester JA, or may already have confirmed volunteers and no openings.  This list only reflects classes to date (as of 8 am, 11/2/17) without a confirmed volunteer.  Please email Rachel Tan at rachel.tan@ja.org or Angie Houck at angie.houck@ja.org to sign up or complete the online volunteer registration form here: bit.ly/EmpowerTheFuture

Limestone Community High School
Wilder-Waite Elementary School
East Peoria
Robein School
Germantown Hills
Germantown Hills Intermediate School
Hannah City
Peoria Regional Learning Center
Charter Oak Primary School
Harrison Community Learning Center
Hines Primary School
Holy Family School
Kellar Primary School
Lincoln K-8 School
Northmoor Primary School
Ridgeview Elementary School
Peoria Heights
St. Thomas School


Our Wish List

To help reduce the cost to implement programs, Junior Achievement requests the donation of items and services that we regularly use in our office operations throughout the year. If you think you have an item that could help or you'd like to volunteer for an opportunity below, contact sally.eastman@ja.org.


  • laptops
  • tablets
  • professional office furniture (desks and chairs)
  • copy paper
  • envelopes
  • note pads
  • labels

Donations to Fundraisers

  • Tickets to sporting events
  • Restaurant Giftcards

Volunteer Opportunities (in addition to classroom volunteers of course!)

  • Special Events (stock market challenge traders, event check-in helpers, etc.)
  • Professional Photography (staff headshots & event photographers)
  • Marketing (varying time commitments and skills including writing, videography, etc.)
  • Office work (stuffing mailers, entering data, stamping envelopes)
Showing 5 results.

Press Releases

JA Press Releases




  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

Get Involved!

Junior Achievement
of Central Illinois

Donate Now    Volunteer    Request a

If you would like more information on Donating, Volunteering, JA Programs, or other ways to partner with us, please give us a call at (309) 682-1800 or email us!