About Our Office

What is Junior Achievement?

Junior Achievement is a global non-profit organization that prepares and inspires students to succeed in a global economy by offering in-school and after-school programs in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship.

JA programs start in Kindergarten and are available for all grade levels through high school. Each lesson contains hands-on activities that align with New York State learning standards while encouraging innovation, creativity and critical thinking. JA programs are independently evaluated and are taught by a community volunteer who brings real life examples of success into the classroom and makes everyday lessons in math, social studies and English/language arts relevant to the real world.

The result is a unique learning opportunity for our kids and a future generation of engaged consumers, qualified employees and leaders who will drive the economic growth of our community.

Junior Achievement of Central Upstate New York, Inc. covers a 25-County area including: Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne & Yates.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, Junior Achievement programs and volunteers impacted over 14,300 students in grades K-12 in 707 classrooms.


Who benefits from JA?

Students -- JA students demonstrate a significant understanding of economics and business concepts – particularly those who participate in programs at consecutive grade levels, as determined by independent evaluators.

Mentors -- Volunteer mentors help young people better understand economic concepts in order to become successful in the workplace and in life. In return, volunteers report sharpened presentation skills and improved time-management and organizational skills due to their experience in the classroom. Volunteers who co-present with other colleagues enjoy a productive team-building experience.

Investors -- Business, foundations, and individuals who support JA benefit from having a positive image in the community and by helping to produce a better-prepared workforce.

Educators -- Teachers welcome Junior Achievement's resources because they enhance the learning environment and reinforce the classroom curricula.


What We Do

Junior Achievement recruits and trains volunteers to go into classrooms and after-school settings to deliver professionally-developed, age-appropriate financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship curriculum for students in grades K-12. Its unique approach offers distinct advantages:

  • Delivery System of volunteers with diverse backgrounds who serve as presenters in the classroom and share their own unique experiences in obtaining and working in the careers they have chosen
  • Curriculum which meets NYS Standards is revised and expanded on a national basis, based on educator and volunteer feedback and needs, and incorporates the latest technological experiences
  • Experience-Based Learning enabling students to learn through a variety of hands-on activities that help them understand the relationship between school learning and successful participation in our economy
  • Volunteer and Teacher Training providing orientation and refresher training programs each semester in addition to staff support, program resources, and on-going services throughout the year.

At no other time in history has the need to provide school children with effective and efficient educational experiences been as compelling. As a country and globally we find ourselves in an unpleasant economic situation. While we rely on our governmental leaders to resolve our national issues, who is supplying the grass-roots knowledge to our children to ensure this will not happen again? Who will provide the necessary financial literacy education, workplace readiness and entrepreneurial skills needed by the children who will be our employees and our future leaders within the next 10-20 years?


Why Junior Achievement

When students are unable to see the role education plays in a stable future and they drop out of school, their likelihood to become involved in crime, drugs, become pregnant and/or dependent on public assistance increases significantly. Widely publicized, Rochester ranked last among the state's four major districts in graduation rates in 2008 at 45%. Approximately 79% of its students are living in poverty, as measured by those eligible for free and reduced price lunches. Scores of studies show that early dropouts, and even some holders of high school diplomas or GED's typically lack strong foundation skills and the key noncognitive skills that enable them to benefit from learning and training experiences later in life. We believe it is our responsibility to keep young people in school and prepare them for economic success. For children living in poverty, their Junior Achievement classes and volunteer mentors may be their only connection to financial success. Our young people need to understand how hard work will result in the rewards of self-sufficiency.

JA provides superior learning opportunities to ensure that schoolchildren of all socio-economic backgrounds develop the competencies necessary for success in a global economy. These competencies are not part of New York State education requirements, and significant research shows they are not being taught in the home, yet are critical to the future success of our community.

Junior Achievement delivers relevant and age-appropriate programs for students at every grade level. As students participate in reality-based simulations and combine these 21st Century experiences with the general principals around the core New York State learning competencies, they gain a thorough and realistic understanding of our economic system.

JA's unique approach integrates program materials, training, and support and provides a successful bridge between education and the business community.