Press Releases | Junior Achievement of Central Iowa

JA of central iowa press releases

March 2, 2020

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF CENTRAL IOWA RECEIVES PEAK PERFORMANCE AWARD

National Award Recognizes Superior Performance across Key Metrics

Des Moines, IA—Junior Achievement USA® (JA) has recognized the staff and board of directors of Junior Achievement of Central Iowa with the Peak Performance Team Award for the 2018-2019 school year. The Peak Performance Team Award was created to recognize outstanding performance by a local Junior Achievement office during the past fiscal year.

To qualify for the award, a JA Area office had to demonstrate a strong financial position and positive student impact growth. Recipients recognized with the award have achieved the highest combined level of student growth, increased market share and total revenue growth. This is the first award of its kind for JA of Central Iowa in over twenty years.

"The JA team and Board believe in the boundless potential of young people in Central Iowa and empowering them to create a bright future through entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career readiness programs—we are proud to be recognized and look forward to further advancing the mission," said Ryan Osborn, President of Junior Achievement of Central Iowa.

During the 2018-2019 school year, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa reached 19,835 students in 24 counties. Additionally, for the first time in over 20 years, JA of Central Iowa received a 4-Star award from JA USA which recognizes staff and boards in JA Areas that meet JA USA's operational standards for compliance, student impact, operational efficiency, financial stability and sustainability. Specific criteria for this distinguished honor include growth in student count or contact hours over the previous year; ending the year with a surplus; and met at least two of the three financial measures of debt ratio, current ratio or cash-on-hand.

ABOUT JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF CENTRAL IOWA:

Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Iowa's mission is to empower students so that they can create a bright and fulfilling future. As K-12th grade experts in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career readiness programs, JA connects business and school communities through their volunteer network to deliver relevant, inspiring and standard-aligned educational experiences. During the 2018-2019 school year, JA of Central Iowa served 19,835 students across 156 schools and 24 counties through their in-school programs, on-site simulations and summer camp. Junior Achievement of Central Iowa is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit www.jacentraliowa.org

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.7 million students per year in 106 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.

 

Wells Fargo gift to help Junior Achievement build JA Finance Park

December 13, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa – Teenagers can dream of the lifestyle they want in the future, and Junior Achievement of Central Iowa wants to help them realize it. With the help of a $250,000 contribution from Wells Fargo, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa will be creating JA Finance Park, a simulated learning environment where middle and high school students will have the opportunity to experience their personal financial futures.

This school year, initial JA Finance Park simulations are taking place in the Richard O. Jacobson JA BizTown facility. However, with a wait list already in place and expected program growth, JA BizTown needs to maintain its space. With that in mind, Junior Achievement plans to convert its existing auditorium into JA Finance Park, a $650,000 transformation that will allow the nonprofit organization to one day serve an additional 10,000 students annually. The new space will be called "JA Finance Park Powered by Wells Fargo."

"We're very grateful for Wells Fargo's leadership gift, which launches our campaign to create a dedicated home for JA Finance Park," said Ryan Osborn, president of Junior Achievement of Central Iowa. "We believe JA Finance Park will serve students as a ‘financial literacy laboratory' that grows their financial capability. Ultimately, it's about empowering students to create their own financial future so they can achieve their version of the American dream."

Following a series of in-class lessons, students at participating schools will benefit from a day of learning at the JA Finance Park facility. The simulation begins with students calculating their net monthly income based on a future lifestyle and occupation. Students then create a monthly budget and navigate decisions between various personal and family expenses including the grocery store, housing, student loan debt, insurance, emergency savings and retirement planning. Corporate volunteers will be on hand to coach and motivate the students through their own life lessons.

Career exploration is also key to the program as students make connections between education and future income and aligning their interests to projected in-demand jobs.

"Financial literacy is an incredibly important skill for middle and high school students to develop," said Wells Fargo Region Bank President Marta Codina. "For years in Des Moines, Junior Achievement has been successfully imparting those skills to elementary students through its highly engaging and interactive JA BizTown. Wells Fargo is thrilled to be at the forefront of helping Junior Achievement achieve its goal of creating a similar hands-on learning environment for older kids to build their financial literacy muscles with the construction and development of the JA Finance Park Powered by Wells Fargo."   

The general contractor is The Weitz Company, which also built JA BizTown. The architect is Simonson & Associates Architects. Based upon further fundraising, plans are in place to begin construction of $650,000 JA Finance Park this summer.

"We're hopeful others will also invest in the program and help us complete the campaign," Osborn said. "Our goal is to have the newly constructed JA Finance Park open for students sometime during the next school year."  

ABOUT JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF CENTRAL IOWA:

Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Iowa's mission is to empower students so that they can create a bright and fulfilling future. As K-12th grade experts in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career readiness programs, JA connects business and school communities through their volunteer network to deliver relevant, inspiring and standard-aligned educational experiences. During the 2018-2019 school year, JA of Central Iowa served 19,835 students across 156 schools and 24 counties through their in-school programs, on-site simulations and summer camp. Junior Achievement of Central Iowa is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit www.jacentraliowa.org

        

 

 

12th Annual JA Stock Market Challenge Presented by Farm Bureau Financial Services empowers students in Central Iowa

April 24, 2019

Des Moines, IA    Junior Achievement of Central Iowa's 12th Annual JA Stock Market Challenge was a success raising over $80,000 thanks to the generous support of many community organizations throughout the metro. Most notable, was the Presenting Sponsor, Farm Bureau Financial Services, as well as other leading sponsors; EMC Insurance, John Deere Financial, MidAmerican Energy and Prairie Meadows. 

This year's event was held in Johnston at John Deere Financial with the event committee co-chaired and led by local business leaders, Casey Decker of Farm Bureau Financial Services and Dave Moore of Businessolver.   

The JA Stock Market Challenge was an exciting, fast-paced competition that provided high school students the opportunity to participate in a day of simulated stock trading. Students participated in 60, one-minute trading days where they learned to buy and sell stocks, while analyzing opportunity and risk. This year's JA Stock Market Challenge featured 131 students from 11 area high schools. Top honors for the high school challenge were awarded to Marshalltown High School.

This event also boasted an opportunity to network and participate in friendly competition on the simulated stock market floor. Of the 18 corporate teams present, Prairie Meadows won the Highest Net Gain trophy and the ITA Group secured the title of Highest Net Worth. 

Leading up to the JA Stock Market Challenge, students were also given the opportunity to participate in the JA Career Exploration Hour, which consisted of 19 businesses and organizations that presented career paths and insight in to a variety of industries. Students were able to take part in meaningful conversations with business leaders and learn about future opportunities, education needed and company profiles within career clusters.  Proceeds from the event benefit local students who experience Junior Achievement's financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs. Multiple businesses and organizations helped facilitate the day along with JA and John Deere staff.  

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