JA Stories | Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania

JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania- Stories

Denim2Denim--Growing by leaps and bounds

It's a simple idea really—take old jeans and repurpose them into something new.  So what makes these old jeans so special?  It isn't that the bags they've been turned into are the latest new fashion item or the "it" gift for the next holiday

season. You can't even buy them anymore.  What makes them special are the students and volunteers that created them…and the lasting impact they have on the future of so many bright students.


Ruth's Story

Ruth's Story- I never saw myself as a leader...

Ruth was a shy kid, which made high school hard. In class, she always sat in the back and didn't participate much. She got an email one day from her school about the JA Company Program. "I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. Just that I wanted to help people." It's not uncommon for high school students to be unsure of their direction. And Ruth was no different. Maybe she'd figured that out with this program. But she was a shy student and signing up was a stretch for her.

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Oscar's Story - What I Could Make of Myself...

Oscar got involved with Junior Achievement during his junior and senior years of high school.  "This program was transformative for me."  At the start of his junior year, Oscar was a straight C and D student.  In his words, he had a "no homework policy".  He thought that school was a waste of time and nothing he was learning seemed practical.  One day someone from Junior Achievement visited his high school to talk about the Company Program.  A friend of his decided to apply, so Oscar did too.

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Tamani's Story - Plant a Seed...

JA Bowl-a-Thon

When Tamani was young, she couldn't answer the common question "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  She didn't know.  She wasn't focused on that.  She spent more energy trying to survive as the only girl (other than her mom) in a house of boys.  In addition to 2 brothers, she had 8 cousins—all boys.  "I was a product of my environment," Tamani said.  Her world was very small.  Her mom worked for Richardson & Co. and her dad was an entrepreneur—he owned a record store and a hoagie stand.  But that was something he did with "the boys".
When her mom's company got involved with Junior Achievement, she decided to sign Tamani up for the Company Program.

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Craig's Story - Taking the Plunge...

Even though Craig was a JA alumni, he was nervous about teaching.  "I had some trepidation in the beginning," he said, but he remembered participating in the company program when he was a student.  So when a list of charitable opportunities came to him from Bank of America where he's worked for 6 years, JA rang a bell.  The school they were volunteering at was close by and he'd have the chance to help kids from economically challenged families, which was important to him.  "Gotta take the plunge!" he thought.


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  • "I look forward to teaching JA each year! The JA activities are engaging and allow me to bring my world into the classroom."

    -Junior Achievement Volunteer
  • "The students got a real idea of what a corporate office is like and some of the tools and technology they will use in the future."

    -Junior Achievement Volunteer

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