Many are impacted by Junior Achievement programs. Check out just a few of the stories below.
"This is obviously our first time volunteering and there's definitely a reason that JA is our national preferred organization on that level. It aligns highly with our financial literacy and our different corporate goals and aims for our Voya foundation.
I think one of the most rewarding things that we've seen so far today is really when you're discussing a topic, and you see that moment of enlightenment on a child's face, that they are getting what you are trying to teach them.
I can personally relate too. I was sharing a story with Ryan – where we had a similar kind of initiative growing up, and my area of entrepreneurism and financial literacy, was always high on the topic and a lawyer was in presenting to us and sharing his experiences and saying how the knowledge here is really where you get to the goals of where you want to see yourself in the future, and I think it's more communicating that, and enlightening the children and helping them to realize school and what they're doing now is a stepping stone to something better in the future. I think that's what JA and our Voya Foundation aims to do."
-A Voya volunteer, Friendship Elementary School, Coatesville
JA Company Program®
Jennifer G, a JA Company Program® volunteer from Evolve IP
"I don't have children of my own, so these really are my kids every year. And I call them kids, and they call me mom – that's just the relationship that we have. And I love it. That makes my heart full. The world is a crazy place right now. It's not as positive as you want it to be. And when you look at these kids, and you watch them, just come to life after 6 months, [you think] maybe things aren't as bad as adults think it's going to be. There is hope for the future."
-Jennifer G., volunteer from Evolve IP
"This year I am the VP of Marketing, I'm very fortunate. Especially this year, it's almost as if I'm not the VP, we're all talking and taking each other's ideas and adapting off of one another. And I feel like that's a skill that really helps you in the real world, that's a very important skill. Because it's not going to be you, no matter what field you go into, whether you're in business or not. As a doctor, you're going to have to work with other doctors, as a business person you're going to have to work with your employees or associates. In any field you're going to have to work with other people, and the skills that JA teaches you really, really apply to real life."
-Justin L., Lava for Life, Evolve IP sponsored student company, part of the JA Company Program®
Ruth, a JA Company Program® high school student from Methacton High School.
"Speaking for all of my teammates, it has been an honor being able to work with JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the IKEA Junior Achievement Volunteers over the past few years. We are truly grateful for what has been one of the greatest experiences and opportunities of our lives.
The NSLS was a blast! We were able to meet so many new people, learn so many lessons, and eventually be honored with the ICE-NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award and the Second Place Company of the Year Award! knada wouldn't have been able to do any of this without the support of our great team members back home, all of the JA sponsors and employees (national and local), and all of our IKEA volunteers. All of our seniors are leaving the program with so many more experiences and a much deeper passion for business than we ever could have hoped for coming into the Company Program. We are sure that one day we will give back to JA in any way that we can, whether it be through donations, volunteering, or sponsoring a company program at a company we work at one day. So once again, thank you to JA, IKEA, and all of our supporters who have helped us run such a great company and learn so much more about ourselves along the way. Junior Achievement has truly changed our lives."
-Owen L., knada, IKEA sponsored student company, part of the JA Company Program®
"Having the chance to attend the Junior Achievement NSLS this year has been an honor. I have participated in JA all 4 years of high school and loved every minute of it. Nowhere else do high schoolers have the opportunity to learn about business fundamentals by actually creating, running, and liquidating a business.I have enjoyed JA so much that I am planning on getting a business degree in college.
In my last year with JA, I was beyond grateful to have the opportunity to go all the way to the national competition. Seeing how JA has affected students like me from all over the country was inspiring, and it was great to be able to network with some of them and with some businesspeople from JA USA and on the national JA Board. Furthermore, I honed my presentation skills and really put my business knowledge to the test.
Just to make it to the national competition was a great feeling, but having our hard work pay off through a 2nd place finish and an ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance award is an indescribable feeling.
Thank you to everyone at JA of Southeastern PA who made this possible!"
-Tara M.,knada, IKEA sponsored student company, part of the JA Company Program®
"Why JA? I think the better question is why not JA? I have made so many friends and connections that I would never have made if I didn't join this program. It's just been overall beneficial towards my life."
-Andrew C., Blume, IKEA sponsored student company, part of the JA Company Program®
"If you have any kind of interest in business, or even just curiosity the Junior Achievement [Company] Program is right for you. It's a place where – really, nothing you do in school matters. Class rank doesn't matter, GPA doesn't matter. It's all just a group of teenagers that come together and start your own business. It's one of the coolest things to start from just an idea and end up with actual money."
-Ryan W., President, Blume, IKEA sponsored student company, part of the JA Company Program®
"I think visiting campuses, especially our campus here at La Salle, I think they can walk away with a little bit of hope, and believing in themselves, and really seeing our students happy and together and studying. I think that they've realized there's support for them, and they can hope and believe in their future.
It didn't take much to persuade me—and Trey Ulrich, who is our Coordinator—he and I teach our freshmen together we teach an orientation to get them acquainted with college, and time management and all of those aspects. So I think the earlier the better, to expose kids, students, prospective students to college, and I think this is a great opportunity.
I think 3rd grade (and I can speak because I have a 3rd grader), they are at that—they've grown so much since 2nd grade, they are in the midst of really having a foundation in their learning, and for them to physically be here, and walk around… even though they are (funny) complaining about how large our campus is... they are seeing it first hand, and they'll remember it. I think that will impact them.
If I was a 3rd grader, what would I tell myself…? I would say to always to keep learning fun and see the good in learning, never to be afraid to ask for help—even in grade school, high school, college, after college—I think all the support like the Junior Achievement representative, or the school administrators, and then once you get to a college campus like La Salle, there's are always people here who want to see you succeed. So I think keeping education fun, keeping learning fun, keeping it real, I could sound hip like they do, I think that's very important."
-La Salle University Volunteer
"I truly think that JA Step to Success provides our 3rd graders in the School District of Philadelphia with a wonderful opportunity to experience college life as a whole. It's not enough to learn it in the classroom. You really need to experience it in person, and through this program, our 3rd graders are able to meet with people who are working at Temple, and students who are here at Temple every day, and really hear what life at Temple is all about. We're providing them with rich experiences to explore campus and ask questions to people who are here every single day and gain leadership skills and confidence that they can do the same and go on to achieve their goals in college."
"As we were greeting students this morning, there was a little girl who came through and said ‘This is a dream come true!'. These 3rd graders are just really diving into questions; I've had children tell me today that they are learning about coding – I didn't know what coding was until I was about a senior in high school. Some of these children have been telling me that they're interested in photography, and going to art school and their passions are alive, and they're true in themselves, and I think the fact that we can show them that making a career out of those things, going to college for those things – [JA] Step to Success really allows us to show that to them."
-Emily G., Site Manager, Jumpstart Philadelphia, Temple University volunteer