JA In The News | Junior Achievement of Central Maryland

JA is Really Newsworthy!

JA BizTown is Going Virtual!

Does your school usually participate in the on-site simulation at JA BizTown, but can't this year? Or have you wanted your child(ren) to have the opportunity to participate in JA BizTown, but your school does not participate in the program? Either way, JA BizTown Adventures is for you!

This engaging and relevant learning resource is now available virtually as an alternative experience for students and schools who are unable to participate in the usual on-site simulation. JA BizTown Adventures is available for free and can be adaptable for in-class, in-home or remote learning for educators or caregivers of students in 4 - 6 grades.

This experience allows students to gain an understanding of running a business as they take on five different job roles: CEO, CFO, Marketing Director, Sales Manager, and Consumer, in a self-guided online adventure. Students will practice problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking, as well as learn about saving and spending.

JA BizTown Adventures Highlights:
• Online, self-guided learning experience that provides a 360-degree view of how business and the economy work
• Can be accessed inside or outside the classroom
• Students can complete JA BizTown Adventures independently or with support of an educator or caregiver
• Instructor guide provided, as well as vocabulary terms and opportunities for collaboration and discussion

Pre-Register Now!
JA BizTown Adventures will be available in October 2020. In order to access the electronic resources and simulation, pre-register here.

For more information or questions, contact Bristal Rettberg here.

 

JA Finance Park Teacher Training and Material Request Information Now Available for 2020-2021 School Year

As schools prepare to start the 2020 - 2021 school year needing more virtual resources than ever before, we have made it even easier to use JA Finance Park curriculum for distance learning.

For classrooms teachers who have implemented JA Finance Park Virtual curriculum and lessons in previous years, or for those in need of virtual financial education materials, we've made this go-to-guide for everything educators need to know.

If you are a NEW TEACHER to JA Finance Park Virtual you must...

  1. Watch the JA Finance Park Virtual Teacher Training Webinar below OR attend a virtual JA Finance Park Virtual training through your school/district. 
  2. Complete JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form below.
  3. Once you have completed steps 1 and 2 above, confirm your school's participation by contacting JA Capstone Director Sam Hodapp here. You will receive access to online resources and next steps for virtual simulation.

If you have PREVIOUSLY TRAINED to implement JA Finance Park Virtual you must...

  1. Complete JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form below.
  2. Once you have completed step 1, confirm your school's participation by contacting JA Capstone Director Sam Hodapp hereYou will receive access to online resources and next steps for virtual simulation.

JA Finance Park Virtual Teacher Training Webinar

JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form

In order to participate in JA Finance Park Virtual, you will need specific classroom materials and curriculum to be successful in implementation. 

Materials for JA Finance Park Virtual include:

  • JA Finance Park Teacher Curriculum (available electronically)
  • JA Finance Park  Student Workbooks (one per student and available as a fillable electronic file)

To complete the JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form, click here.

From all of us at JA, we are looking forward to another successful year of JA Finance Park Virtual and appreciate all that you do as an educator to make this program a success for your students. At any time, if you have questions, need additional support or guidance, contact Sam for further assistance.

Give Them the Freedom to Unlock Their Future

Start Their Journey with $250 or $500 from the State.

The State of Maryland and Maryland 529 are teaming up to help make it easier for your child’s dream of attending college come true. Simply open an Account in the Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan (also referred to as the Maryland College Investment Plan or MCIP)—managed by T. Rowe Price—a leading investment firm since 1937—and you could be eligible for a $250 or $500 contribution from the State of Maryland. Your savings can be used at nearly any U.S. college, technical or trade school, and even international universities that have a federal school code—for qualified eligible expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, etc.

Apply by May 31

Advertisement

The Maryland College Investment Plan Disclosure Statement provides investment objectives, risks, expenses and costs, fees, and other information you should read and consider carefully before investing. If you or your beneficiary live outside of Maryland, you should compare Maryland 529 to any college savings program offered by your home state or your beneficiary's home state, which may offer state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's 529 plan. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter.

Meet Our Superstar Volunteer Individuals - National Volunteer Week 2020 Edition!

As we continue to celebrate National Volunteer Week, we are featuring the individuals who make our mission work! These outstanding JA volunteers went above and beyond for our students and schools this past year.

This year has provided a myriad of challenges, but we can always count on these individuals to rise to the top and continue to answer the call when JA students need them most. It is our pleasure to recognize these individuals for their dedication and committment to JA.

Paul Corbin
Paul exudes the JA mission as a financial education advocate and dedicated mentor. He is known to many as a staunch community engagement supporter and luckily for us continues to promote our work even behind the scenes.

"I equate Paul to Nike. He just does. Paul makes it happen," said JA Capstone Director Sam Hodapp.

For years, Paul has been an in-class program volunteer and recently a JA BizTown volunteer. Always leading the charge, Paul recruits, connects, and engages like-minded individuals at his company, Brown Advisory, to the JA cause. He's even gone as far as bringing his own family members and friends to volunteer too!

We're particularly fond of Paul for not only his dedication to the organization, but his commitment to the future generation. Paul and his team mentor and support Holabird Academy students through various JA programs and recently, Paul created an after-school club at The Crossroads School and insisted on having JA-kit based programs.

Bob Cowie & Darlene Peters

This dynamic duo from UPS has made all the difference this school year by volunteering in a unique way delivering school materials. When looking at various processes like our current delivery methods, Bob was all in to support and lead the efforts to make this more efficient.

Traditionally, materials for JA BizTown and JA Finance Park were delivered by our team members or picked up by educators. It's been a huge help to have these all-star individuals personally volunteer their time to do deliveries on our behalf -- some as far as hours away -- to ensure schools, educators and students receive the materials they need to be best prepared for classroom instruction.
If that wasn't enough, Bob was able to get all 8,000+ materials for JA Inspire to Baltimore County schools.

Even with demanding schedules, we could count on Bob and Darlene to stop by the office, grab materials and get them to our schools quickly.

And as you can see (pictured to the right), Darlene has also been spotted volunteering in JA BizTown too!


 

 

Phillip Del Bello
Phil is a veteran volunteer, who has volunteered in JA BizTown enough to know the role for almost every JA BizTown storefront. Not many JA volunteers can say that. For over 5 years, he has been a go-to mentor for JA students.

Year after year, Phil coordinates his team from CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) to join him in empowering JA students to thrive in their businesses at JA BizTown. This once small group of CLA associates has now grown in numbers to fill the entire day.

Phil has mentored hundreds of students who have come through the experience. Many that began as shy, sometimes hesitant kids, then emerge from their JA BizTown experience with Phil as confident, collaborative and financially responsible leaders. It's one of the reasons he nominated JA for his firm's foundation grant, which ultimately JA won as a grantee.

“Each time I’ve volunteered at JA BizTown it’s been a fun experience with new students who are entering the program for the first time,” said Phil. “It’s great to see the students’ excitement around this program and their engagement toward their tasks and responsibilities as an employee and citizen. They are truly invested in their work and take it very seriously.”


It is truly our honor to recognize these amazing individuals for their volunteerism and continued dedication to JA students and schools. We could not do this without their support and for that we are thankful!
 

JA Takes Entrepreneurial Learning Virtually!

Unlike any JA opportunity ever before, the JA Company Program is going completely virtual! In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland will bring the JA Company Program to our students at home. Entrepreneurial-minded students will have this incredible opportunity to not only create their own business, but connect and network with peers from across the state in this one-of-a-kind virtual experience.

Through the support of Bank of America, roughly 25 students will participate in JA Company Program Virtual to create their very own business venture. This program will run weekly meetings on Wednesday’s from May 6 until June 27 with potential for additionally scheduled meetings. On average, the time commitment is approximately 2 to 4 hours a week.

Who is eligible to join JA Company Program Virtual?

  • High School Students in grades 9 – 12
  • Must reside in the following areas: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Washington
  • Students who have access to a computer and/or phone, and WiFi

JA Company Program Virtual is a free program and will be completely held online using virtual platforms like ZOOM.

By participating in JA Company Program Virtual, students are organized into “companies" and undergo every step in the process of creating and running a business. With the help of corporate mentors, the students actually create a product or service, raise capital, advertise and sell their product, and liquidate at the end of the program. Students are elected into leadership roles and organized into appropriate departments/functions. This is an excellent way for high school students to get “real-world” experience running a business, while being mentored by seasoned professionals.

Submissions to participate must be received by May 4, 2020 for consideration into JA Company Program Virtual.

Limited spots are available. Apply today for JA Company Program Virtual here.

Special thanks to our incredible sponsors including Bank of America for making programs like this possible. We'd also like to thank PNC and the Howard County Women’s Giving Circle, a fund of the Community Foundation of Howard County for supporting JA Rising Women.

For additional questions, please contact Diana Emerson, Director of Entrepreneurial Experiences here.

Meet Our Superstar Volunteer Companies - National Volunteer Week 2020 Edition!

This week, we are celebrating our outstanding JA volunteers! These are the companies who have went above and beyond for our students and schools this past year. Trust us when we say it wasn't an easy choice!

This year has provided a myriad of challenges, but we can always count on these companies and individuals to rise to the top and continue to answer the call when JA students need them most. It is our pleasure to recognize these companies in honor of National Volunteer Week for their dedication and committment to JA.

Allstate
From individuals to entire departments, Allstate employees have gone above and beyond to support JA students. This past year, Allstate volunteers were a constant stream flowing into JA BizTown to help our students navigate the economy and run their businesses.

The JA team is extremely appreciative for Allstate's continued willingness to jump in without hesitation, even when it meant asking for volunteers on short notice or helping us entertain students with fun games before the JA BizTown day kicked off (which is sometimes, not an easy feat!).

No matter what we are faced with, Allstate volunteers were always ready to lend a helping hand - the true sign of a volunteer superstar group!

 

Stanley Black & Decker
Not only does this team create products for those who make the world, but Stanley Black & Decker also makes JA programs seamless.

This year, they took their volunteering efforts to a new level by hosting a JA Rising Women company at their facility. For 13 weeks, our young female students explored entrepreneurship from conception to creation, brought their product to the marketplace and eventually liquidated their venture, all with guidance and support from Stanley Black & Decker volunteer mentors. This experience was life-changing for our young entrepreneurs.

Over the years, Stanley Black & Decker employees have been dedicated volunteers through programs like JA BizTown, JA Job Shadow, as well as JA Leading Ladies.

 

T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price provided countless volunteers over the years, but this year the team has filled multiple JA BizTown dates to support our students, which has been a tremendous help.

As our team continues to work with schools to ensure we match great volunteers with great students, T. Rowe Price was able to support our growing need for Spanish speaking volunteers.

Throughout the year, T. Rowe Price continually supports JA students in various ways including stepping up to volunteer during JA Inspire. It truly takes a village and we are incredibly grateful to have this group in our village.
 

 

 

It is truly our honor to recognize these amazing groups for their volunteerism and continued dedication to JA students. We could not do this without their support and for that we are thankful!

Only If You Dare - JA Fundraising Friday Challenge Announced!

Are you ready to take your JA Fundraising Friday Challenge to the next level? Only if you accept the dare! This is the silliest and most daring challenge yet and is great for all JA Bowl-a-Thon individuals.

This Week's JA Fundraising Friday Challenge (April 20 - April 24)

Donate for a Dare Challenge

To win this week's challenge, you must do the following:

1. Select two dares that you would be willing to complete and document on social media.

  • You can come up with your own dares or select from a list that we have provided here.

 2.  Then, you'll post the following message on social media:

I am participating in the Donate for a Dare Challenge to benefit Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. You get to decide which dare I will complete! I will either...

         Insert Dare #1   or    Insert Dare #2

 Make a donation to my QGiv page here <insert the link to your QGiv page> and then comment on this post with the dare you'd like to see me do! Only votes that have received a donation will be counted.

The dare that raises the most money by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24 will be completed and posted here.

 3. At Noon on Friday, April 24, count up your votes and complete the winning dare. We posting your dare on your social media page, use the hashtag #JABowlMD and tag Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. Please make sure to thank your donors on behalf of JA!

As a reminder, our social media channels are listed below: 

Date: You will have from Friday, April 16 to Friday, April 24 to complete this challenge. Winners will be announced Friday, April 24 in the afternoon.

Challenge Winners Announced for the First-Ever JA Fundraising Friday!

Our first JA Fundraising Friday Challenge got the ball rolling on our upcoming JA Bowl-a-Thon. Thank you to all who participated! The winners of our very first JA Fundraising Friday Challenges go to:

Congratulations winners! Way to lead the way on the very first challenge.

Now it's time for our weekly JA Fundraising Friday Challenge. During this time, we know how important it is to stay connected and what better way to do that than with social media.

This Week's JA Fundraising Friday Challenge (April 10 - April 16)

JA Social Media Invasion Challenge

To win this week's challenge, you must complete one of the following options (1 - 3) below:

1. Share a post from Junior Achievement of Central Maryland's social media channels on your company's social media page.

  • Use the JA Bowl-a-Thon hashtag #JABowlMD

 2.  Create an orginial social media post featuring JA/JA Bowl-a-Thon on your company's social media page.

  • Tag Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and use the hashtag #JABowlMD

 3. Send an internal email that shares your company's QGiv page. 

  • Please CC or forward this email communication to Paige McFeely, PMcFeely@JAMaryland.org, or your email may not be counted. 

You must ALSO incorporate one of the following items in your post or email:

  • Nominate 3 people to join in on your JA Bowl-a-Thon efforts by tagging them.
  • Include a photograph from a previous JA experience and share its impact.

Don't forget to tag Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and use the hashtag #JABowlMD on your post or it may not be counted! For ease, see our social media channels below: 

Date: You will have from Friday, April 10 to Thursday, April 16 to complete this challenge. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 17.

Good luck JA Bowl-a-Thon teams and bowlers. Keep striking through these challenges to help our JA students succeed!

JA Bowl-a-Thon Rolls On!

April is Financial Literacy Month AND the start of Junior Achievement's longest-standing FUNdraiser, JA Bowl-a-Thon. Coincidence? No way! We know everyone could use some fun right now. In an effort to STRIKE out financial illiteracy in our future leaders, let’s join together for a fun cause that unites our outstanding community.

The funds raised through JA Bowl-a-Thon provide experiential programs that foster the confidence, knowledge and determination for youth to thrive across Central Maryland—building a better future for themselves and our community.

To kickoff JA Bowl-a-Thon, we're introducing JA Fundraising Fridays. Each week, JA will roll out a new, virtual fundraising challenge. All challenges can be completed from the comfort of your own home and are intended to be a fun outlet to bring our JA community together, during this period of social distancing.  At the end of each week, JA will send JA Bowl-a-Thon coordinators a “Weekly Wrap Up”, where prizes will be awarded and special shout outs to the companies that completed and/or won the challenge on social media.

This Week's JA Fundraising Friday Challenge (April 3 - April 9)

QGiv Customization Challenge

In order to win this challenge, you must complete the following:

    1. Register all bowlers on QGiv

2. Customize your team pages

  • Click here to learn more about how to customize your team page.    

3. Share your company QGiv page on at least one social media channel, tag Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and use the hashtag #JABowlMD

    4. Recieve your first donation

Date: You will have from Friday, April 3 to Thursday, April 9 to complete this challenge! Winners will be announced on Friday, April 10.

Let's get the ball rolling and make this JA Bowl-a-Thon our best year yet! Good luck JA Bowl-a-Thon teams and bowlers!

Update from JA

As the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, volunteers, corporate partners, staff and the communities we serve.

Upon guidance from Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon, Maryland public schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. Therefore, Junior Achievement is suspending all programming and events during this time.

As part of JA’s standard operating procedures, a janitorial company comes through our building every night to clean and disinfect all common areas, the restrooms, shared areas/offices, door knobs, door handles as well as JA BizTown. Additionally, we also provide community hand sanitizers throughout our lobby, office, and in JA BizTown. We are continuing to take all necessary precautions to ensure our facility is ready to go when programming resumes.

This is an evolving situation and we will re-evaluate upcoming programs and events after March 27 as necessary in coordination with our local school systems. We will send updates as more information becomes available. 

We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this time.

As a reminder, people can protect themselves against respiratory viruses, according to the Maryland Department of Health, by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good health habits.

Additional Resources

                 

 

JA Plans to Move to New Headquarters Building, Doubling its Space

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland Inc. (JA), is excited to announce that a long-awaited vision is now coming to fruition. In summer of 2020, we will open a new headquarters and program facilitiy that will take experiential learning to the next level for the youth of Baltimore. 

Located at 1725 Twin Springs Road, the facility will more than double JA's current space, enabling the organization to unveil the 28,800 square-foot JA Youth Workforce and Innovation Center, an interactive learning space for early workforce development.

“This is a game-changer for our organization, our community, and for thousands of students in our region who deserve real-world experiences that prepare them for the future,” said Jennifer Bodensiek, President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “The JA Youth Workforce and Innovation Center will allow us to enhance our visibility and impact more youth with experiential programming that fuels the workforce pipeline and ensures that area youth grow into career-ready, financially responsible, and entrepreneurially minded citizens. We are grateful to our partners for their sponsorship and volunteer support, and we look forward to engaging additional organizations as we bring this vision to life.”

Photo courtesy of Coyle StudiosThe new center enables JA to expand popular programs, such JA BizTown, where 4th-6th graders take on the role of an employee and run a simulated economy. For middle and high schoolers, JA Finance Park presents students with a career, family, and salary scenario, then allows them take on the role of consumer to make wise budgeting decisions. Middle and high school students will also have the opportunity to explore Maryland’s in-demand careers in a new career center, as well as start and run their own businesses in an entrepreneurship cafe. In addition, the center will offer a multi-use space to foster community, business and education partnerships. In total, the facility will serve 30,000 students—plus more than 5,000 volunteers and community members—annually.

Adrienne Jones, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, recognizes the importance of making JA programming more inclusive.

“Junior Achievement’s new regional center in Lansdowne represents a major step in our work to ensure that every student in Maryland is college and career ready,” Del. Jones explained. “JA’s programming offers a holistic approach to education and equips students with practical life skills that they will use well into adulthood, and I’m thrilled that they will have a new home in Baltimore County.”

Merritt Construction Services, the construction division of Merritt Companies, began construction on the base building in November and expects to begin the interior build-out in mid-March. JA plans to move from its current Owings Mills location, which is owned and operated by Merritt Properties, to the organization’s new headquarters in summer 2020, relocating roughly 20 employees. Merritt is a long-time supporter of JA, and the future headquarters is part of Merritt Properties’ Beltway Business Park. Clockwork Architecture + Design has been tapped to do the architectural work.

A “groundbreaking” to celebrate the interior buildout of the JA space is planned for the spring.
 
Thanks to our sponsors who have already signed on for this transformational project. Lead capital project partners include: Allegis Group, France-Merrick Foundation, Howard Bank, Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation, M&T Bank, Stanley Black & Decker, State of Maryland, Truist Foundation, Transamerica, and the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Program partners in the new center include: Aerotek, Allstate Foundation, Baltimore County Public Library, Bank of America, Chick-fil-A Foundation, First Financial Federal Credit Union, GEICO, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, Maryland MEP, Maryland State Library, Merritt Properties, Northrop Grumman, Toyota Financial Services, Travelers, Wells Fargo, and Whiting-Turner. JA is still seeking additional program and capital support for the project.
 

“On any given day there could be up to 300 kids in the center participating in real-world career readiness, financial education, and entrepreneurship programs,” said Tom Sadowski, Vice Chancellor of Economic Development for the University System of Maryland and Chair of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland’s board of directors. “I’ve observed JA programs first-hand, and I’ve seen the lightbulb go off – the inspiration in the students’ eyes when all of a sudden, it clicks. They understand the potential for their future. Together with our JA partners, we are giving our education system and key industries the missing piece they need to build a solid foundation that helps Maryland’s economy grow and succeed into the future—and we are doing it at scale so every student has the opportunity to benefit from these experiences.”

JA’s new facility is centrally located off Washington Boulevard and provides access off I-95 and I-695. It is also in close proximity to the city and county line and several miles from UMBC and BWI, making it an ideal regional location to serve the youth in the Baltimore region and throughout Central Maryland. 

This past school year, JA served more than 13,000 students in Baltimore City and over 8,000 in Baltimore County. Both school systems plan to expand student impact with the opening of the new center.

“Our system-wide partnership with Junior Achievement over the past three years has allowed us to infuse classroom learning with hands-on experiences that connect students to the realities of work, personal finance, and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. “Last year alone, JA programs reached more than 92 percent of our 5th graders, 82 percent of our schools, and more than 13,000 total Baltimore City Schools students. The new center will expand this impact, allowing all of our 5th and 7th graders to connect with caring community members through meaningful experiential learning opportunities.”

Dr. Darryl Williams, Superintendent for Baltimore County Public Schools, recently championed JA Inspire, an interactive career exploration experience that connected all 8,000+ Baltimore County 8th graders to more than 60 area employers.

“We are proud to offer families in Baltimore County Public Schools even more opportunity through our growing relationship with Junior Achievement,” said Dr. Williams. “I have seen firsthand how JA BizTown and JA Finance Park spark new learning for our youngsters and support the development of both knowledge and skills for career and college success.”

The enthusiasm around this initiative, said Bodensiek, is that Junior Achievement’s results speak for themselves. Statistics gathered nationally by the non-profit show that JA students are 30 percent more likely to graduate from college than students in the general population and 67 percent are more likely to earn an advanced degree. JA students not only secure employment at a higher rate than their peers, but they earn 20 percent more in salary.

“We’ve seen success with scalable JA initiatives in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, and it is essential to bring these opportunities to the youth of Baltimore,” adds Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce. “Through this center, our region’s youth will gain the financial education and workforce readiness skills they need to thrive. It is an investment not only in our students, but an investment in the future success and competitiveness of our state.”

Monitoring & Preparing for Coronavirus at JA

We know that many of our Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JA) stakeholders including school and family partners, volunteers, event participants, corporate partners, are concerned about the uncertainty created by COVID-19. The health and well-being of our JA stakeholders are top of mind.

Our staff is closely monitoring the situation on a case-by-case basis and is working closely with school, community, and business partners to determine how to proceed with ongoing programming and events. If any changes occur, we will notify all participants as soon as possible.

Ultimately, we are treating this situation as we would with any other event that could impact our work including natural disasters, weather-related incidents and threats to safety.

In an effort to provide as much information as possible to address your concerns or questions, as part of JA’s standard operating procedures, a janitorial company comes through our building every night to clean and disinfect all common areas including door handles, restrooms, and other shared areas. We also provide community hand sanitizers in our lobby and throughout JA BizTown.

According to the Maryland Department of Health, people can protect themselves against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good health habits.

We recognize that this is an evolving situation that is constantly being reassessed. We will continue to stay in close, collaborative contact with our health department partners and will share additional information as needed and available to us.

Additional Resources

Give Them the Freedom to Unlock Their Future

Start Their Journey with $250 or $500 from the State.

The State of Maryland and Maryland 529 are teaming up to help make it easier for your child’s dream of attending college come true. Simply open an Account in the Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan (also referred to as the Maryland College Investment Plan or MCIP)—managed by T. Rowe Price—a leading investment firm since 1937—and you could be eligible for a $250 or $500 contribution from the State of Maryland. Your savings can be used at nearly any U.S. college, technical or trade school, and even international universities that have a federal school code—for qualified eligible expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, etc.

Apply by May 31

Advertisement

The Maryland College Investment Plan Disclosure Statement provides investment objectives, risks, expenses and costs, fees, and other information you should read and consider carefully before investing. If you or your beneficiary live outside of Maryland, you should compare Maryland 529 to any college savings program offered by your home state or your beneficiary's home state, which may offer state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's 529 plan. T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., Distributor/Underwriter.

CLA Makes an Investment in JA Kids!

Veteran volunteer Phillip Del Bello, Manager, Specialized Advisory Services at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) has seen the impact of his volunteering efforts over the years.

“Each time I’ve volunteered at JA BizTown it’s been a fun experience with new students who are entering the program for the first time,” said Del Bello.

Year after year, Del Bello coordinates a group of CLA associates to join him to help empower JA students to thrive in their businesses at JA BizTown. Recently, Phil and 14 of his colleagues assisted Tunbridge Public Charter School students on their JA BizTown visit day.

“It’s great to see the students’ excitement around this program and their engagement toward their tasks and responsibilities as an employee and citizen,” added Del Bello. “They are truly invested in their work and take it very seriously.”

For some Tunbridge students the focus was on their internal bookkeeping where others were more concerned about their personal finances.

“I learned that businesses have a lot of bills to pay. It was really hard to pay off the loan,” said a Tunbridge student.

“My favorite part of JA BizTown was using the money I earned to purchase items around town,” said another Tunbridge student.

Del Bello has seen a variety of students come through the experience – many who begin the day as shy, hesitant kids and end the day as confident, collaborative, financially responsible leaders. It’s one of the reasons Del Bello nominated Junior Achievement (JA) for the CLA Foundation grant. Ultimately, the CLA Foundation selected Junior Achievement as a grantee.

The CLA Foundation has granted more than $1.7 million to advance career opportunities in communities across the nation and Del Bello felt JA “matched perfectly” with the foundation’s mission to promote and support diverse individuals and organizations by connecting networks, advancing work readiness, and creating career opportunities.

“Not only is JA helping prepare kids for the future, but they are also building the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age,” said Del Bello. “I thought this directly aligns with the Foundation’s mission.”

Del Bello wasn’t the only CLA associate who thought highly of their volunteer experience. First-time volunteers and returners were also impressed.

“It’s great to see kids apply important financial concepts at a young age. By the end of the day, my students knew how to run a business, write and cash a check, and balance their checkbook,” said Garrett Brenk.

“I was surprised at how serious the kids took their jobs and really thought about how their roles impact the business,” said Kimberly MacKenzie.

For returning JA volunteer Ryan Fiore, the experience was a way to give back.

“I love that I’m able to see this come full circle. Having been a JA BizTown student, I had a volunteer who helped me back then and now, I get to pay that forward to a new group of students,” said Fiore. “I was a CFO and I think that definitely influenced me. I got a glimpse of what a financial professional would do, and it got me thinking about it at a younger age than most.”

While the experience had a profound impact on Fiore, it may have done the same for a Tunbridge student.

“I was the CFO of Zurich Insurance and I think this is something I could do in the future. We got really close to paying off our business loan and I really enjoyed a lot of the tasks I had today,” said a Tunbridge student.

On behalf of JA, we’d like to especially thank our volunteer extraordinaire Phillip Del Bello, the entire team at CLA and the CLA Foundation for their generous support of JA kids!

From the Marketing Intern's Perspective

While internships are designed to give students like me hands-on experience in the field, I had no idea what to expect as the marketing intern other than being stuck working behind a desk, but at JA that was not the case. This internship exceeded my expectations and has taught me skills that will last a lifetime.

I knew I had to jump at the opportunity to work at JA because it’s a nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering K-12 students through money, careers and business start-ups. These are all things that mean a lot to me especially being the oldest in my family and having seven younger siblings who look up to me for career and financial advice. Additionally, I love how JA incorporates mentors and volunteers. It really speaks to me as an active mentor in TU’s Greek Ambassadors Mentorship Program.

During my time as the JA marketing intern, I oversaw marketing projects, managed various components of the website, and created web and social media content. I learned how to be a strategic marketer, strengthen my writing for various audiences, and really experience what it is like to work in a marketing department.

I didn’t realize all the different components that make up what a marketing professional does but watching how hard my mentor [JA Marketing Director Katie Ballance] works to make sure JA has the best marketing is inspiring. Throughout this experience, Katie has shown me patience and kindness and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

While interning, I even got the chance to be a part of JA’s largest event in the organization’s history called JA Inspire. I worked with the multimedia team to ensure we captured the event to its full potential. It was exciting to see JA students in action and be able to interview them during the experience.

This semester has taught me a lot about myself, but I’m most proud of the relationships I developed during my journey at JA. Being able to work closely with many members of the JA team has opened my eyes to the many different roles it takes to run an efficient organization.

I walked into JA of Central Maryland with limited marketing experience and I’m leaving with useful skills that I can take with me for years to come. While my next “official” steps after graduation are still in progress, I know that the future holds an endless amount of opportunities thanks to my time at JA and for that, I am eternally grateful.

If you or someone you know is looking for a great internship in marketing and communications, education and outreach, or development and special events, click here for more information.

Anastasia Delices is a marketing intern at JA of Central Maryland. She is a communications major at Towson University who will graduate with her BA in May 2020. Her primary focus within her major is marketing.

Maryland “Royalty” Returns to JA BizTown

Ten years ago young Caitlyn Stupi stepped into the small city of JA BizTown where she learned the fundamentals of financial education and workforce preparation. However, what she did not know is that later she would be returning to JA -- this time as Miss Maryland.

“Walking through these doors was a ‘wow’ moment. The last time I was here was in the 4th grade,” Caitlyn recalls. “I was a young CFO in my JA BizTown business, and I remember how much bigger it felt because I was smaller. It’s still so impressive that they’re able to create a micro-economy for the kids to experience.”

Despite her busy schedule, Caitlyn found time to come back and help our future leaders. Just this year she received her bachelor’s degree in graphic arts from Liberty University, where she graduated with honors. Later that summer Caitlyn was also crowned Miss Maryland.
 

“Crazy is the only way to describe it. I’m honestly still waiting for it to set in. But it's kind of funny how the realm of financial literacy and my involvement in the Miss America organization overlap because this is an investment in my future with being able to earn scholarships,” said Caitlyn.

Having had such an impactful experience from JA BizTown, Caitlyn continues to promote youth financial literacy by choosing this as her cause of choice for Miss America’s Social Impact Initiative. “Junior Achievement was one of the major influences that instilled my value of financial responsibility. It fueled my desire to help educate our next generation!”

Not only does our crowned state representative understand the value of this social justice: she also understands the importance of volunteering. During her return visit to JA BizTown, with a smile from ear to ear, Caitlyn answered questions from excited students who worked in the Wells Fargo Community Newspaper. “JA is one of the experiences I can say that actually taught me about the real world,” she says. “It’s so cool to be back and help the kids understand the real world themselves.”

We wish Caitlyn the best of luck in the Miss America pageant! Be sure to tune in December 19th on NBC.

Anastasia Delices is a marketing intern at JA of Central Maryland. She is a communications major at Towson University who will graduate with her BA in May 2020. Her primary focus within her major is marketing.

Two Stevenson University Scholars Make Volunteering a Priority

While college can place many demands on a student’s schedule, two Stevenson University students are finding ways to make volunteering at Junior Achievement a fun priority. Kelsey David and Cassidy Kling are both freshman nursing majors at Stevenson University in the Service Scholars program.

Service Scholars is a comprehensive initiative that offers participants the opportunity to extend their civic engagement in the community, reflect upon possibilities for personal and social change, and develop the necessary skills to succeed in the classroom and, eventually, the workforce.

Kelsey and Cassidy were both interested in a volunteer experience with hands-on learning while supporting local kids.
 

"When I was looking at my options, I knew that I didn’t want to be behind a desk. JA allows me to interact with fifth graders and actually make a difference,” said Kelsey.

Since volunteering at JA, Kelsey hasn’t been at a desk, but rather in the center of JA BizTown, where she supports the staff by answering questions for students and volunteers throughout the dynamic work readiness experience.

While Cassidy has volunteered in a business or two in JA BizTown, she is usually working with JA’s development team assisting with upcoming events or contacting JA partners.

“I definitely think all kids should have Junior Achievement programs because it teaches them things like how to write a check, how to save money and how to invest in college. No one ever had anything like this at the schools I attended and, during my senior year of high school, a lot of the seniors didn’t have any of these skills that are being taught here at such a young age,” said Cassidy.

You, too, can make a difference just like Kelsey and Cassidy! Click here to volunteer your time at JA BizTown.

Anastasia Delices is a marketing intern at JA of Central Maryland. She is a communications major at Towson University who will graduate with her BA in May 2020. Her primary focus within her major is marketing.

Prepare for JA Finance Park! Teacher Training and Material Request Information Now Available

As teachers prepare for the 2019-2020 school year, it's also time to get your students up and running on JA Finance Park Virtual.

For classroom teachers who will be teaching the JA Finance Park Virtual curriculum and leading their students through the virtual simulation during the upcoming school year, we've made this go-to-guide for everything educators need to know.

If you are a NEW TEACHER to JA Finance Park Virtual you must...

  1. Watch the JA Finance Park Virtual Teacher Training Webinar below OR attend in-person JA Finance Park Virtual training through your school/district. 
  2. Complete JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form below.
  3. Once you have completed steps 1 and 2 above, confirm your school's participation by contacting JA Capstone Director Sam Hodapp here

If you have PREVIOUSLY TRAINED to implement JA Finance Park Virtual you must...

  1. Complete JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form below.
  2. Once you have completed step 1, confirm your school's participation by contacting JA Capstone Director Sam Hodapp here

JA Finance Park Virtual Teacher Training Webinar

JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form

In order to participate in JA Finance Park Virtual, you will need specific classroom materials and curriculum to be successful in implementation. 

Materials for JA Finance Park Virtual include:

  • JA Finance Park Teacher Curriculum
  • JA Finance Park  Student Workbooks (one per student)

To complete the JA Finance Park Virtual Program Registration and Material Request Form, click here.

From all of us at JA, we are looking forward to another successful year of JA Finance Park Virtual and appreciate all that you do as an educator to make this program a success for your students. At any time, if you have questions, need additional support or guidance, contact Sam for further assistance.

Gear Up for JA BizTown! Teacher Training and Material Request Information Available Now

As teachers prepare for the 2019-2020 school year, it's also time to gear up for students' JA BizTown visit. 

For classroom teachers who will be teaching the JA BizTown curriculum and bringing their classes to the JA BizTown simulation during the upcoming school year, we've made this handy guide for everything educators need to know.

If you are a NEW TEACHER to JA BizTown you must...

  1. Watch the JA BizTown Teacher Training Webinar below OR attend in-person JA BizTown training through your school/district. 
  2. Complete JA BizTown Program Material Request Form below.
  3. Once you have completed steps 1 and 2 above, confirm your school's participation and simulation visit date by contacting JA BizTown Program Manager Bristal McAlister here

If you have PREVIOUSLY TRAINED to implement JA BizTown you must...

  1. Complete JA BizTown Program Material Request Form below.
  2. Once you have completed step 1, confirm your school's participation and simulation visit date by contacting JA BizTown Program Manager Bristal McAlister here

JA BizTown Teacher Training Webinar

 

JA BizTown Program Materials Request Form

In order to participate in JA BizTown, you will need specific classroom materials and curriculum to be successful for your visit day. 

Materials for JA BizTown include:

  • JA BizTown Teacher Curriculum
  • JA BizTown Student Citizen Guides and checkbooks (one per student)
  • JA BizTown Classroom Kit (one for school)

To complete the JA BizTown Program Material Request Form, click here.

 

From all of us at JA, we are looking forward to another successful year of JA BizTown and appreciate all that you do as an educator to make this program a success for your students. At any time, if you have questions, need additional support or guidance, contact Bristal at 410-753-3292 for assistance.

JA Welcomes Back Lene McCollum

JA is thrilled to welcome back Lene McCollum to our team!

Lene will serve as the first-ever Director of Partner Engagement. She will focus on engaging existing JA partners and bringing new partner groups to the organization. Additionally, Lene will ensure JA's volunteer experience is unmatched!

Many educators, volunteers and community partners may recall her previous role with JA as the Regional Manager for Baltimore County and outlying counties. She was responsible for maintaining existing school system relationships and ensuring program quality in her regions. In this role, she reached over 10,000 students and hundreds of volunteers.
 

Lene’s passion for the nonprofit sector is evident. Before joining JA, she worked with Blossoms of Hope in Howard County. Most recently, she served as an Associate Director with Stringfellow Management Group, where she managed two non-profit professional organizations with a focus on certification, membership and conference planning.

Lene is looking forward to resuming her fulfilling work with JA in her new position.

“I am most excited to meet new people and catch up with some old friends. The relationships made here are definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of the job,” she says.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with JA, drop Lene a message here.

Kristy Memphis is currently a marketing intern at JA of Central Maryland. She is a Communication, Technology, and Culture major at Bridgewater College, and a Political Science minor. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in May 2020.

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