June 6, 2017 - CommunityAmerica and Junior Achievement partner to launch online financial education program
CommunityAmerica Credit Union and Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City (JAKC) will launch JA Finance Park Virtual, an innovative online financial education program in the Liberty (MO) School District beginning on Monday, June 5. The program, running for 6 weeks, will serve 8th grade students in the Liberty School District this summer and will expand to serve middle and high school students across the metro area beginning this fall. The program helps students learn how to budget and manage personal finances to build a foundation for financial freedom into adulthood.
Understanding the need to offer students exciting learning opportunities through technology led JAKC President & CEO, Megan Sturges, to find a way to bring the program to Kansas City.
"The JA Finance Park Virtual Program provides our students a wonderful opportunity to acquire the money-management and career skills they need to take charge of their future. Similar to all of JA's proven curricula, this program provides experiential learning opportunities to help students understand the impact of educational, financial and lifestyle decisions in a 21st century, fun, and relevant way."
JAKC is proud to offer this program to KC youth through the funding support provided by CommunityAmerica Credit Union. CommunityAmerica has agreed to a long-term commitment to this program and will serve as the local presenting sponsor.
"We are excited to again partner with Junior Achievement and to help bring JA Finance Park Virtual to youth in the Kansas City area. CommunityAmerica is dedicated to helping members of the Kansas City community achieve financial peace-of-mind, and an important part of that is providing our youth with the necessary tools to develop solid money management skills early in life. We are proud to support this innovative approach to bring real-world financial applications to local students," said Kathryn Harvel, Executive Director of the CommunityAmerica Foundation.
CommunityAmerica Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with more than 200,000 member-owners nationwide. As of December 2016, CommunityAmerica had more than $2.3 billion in assets, ranking it among the nation's 100 largest credit unions. Based on deposits, CommunityAmerica is among the top 10 Kansas City-based financial institutions. There are 28 CommunityAmerica branches in Kansas City, and one in St. Louis.
CommunityAmerica provides a full suite of financial products, including checking, savings, mortgages and a variety of loan products to meet consumer and business needs. As a not-for-profit financial institution, CommunityAmerica offers highly competitive rates on deposits, loans, and fewer, lower or no fees at all. Other convenient products and services include Sunday hours, a network of more than 30,000 ATMs, 24-hour online, mobile banking, credit cards and insurance. For more information, visit www.communityamerica.com.
About Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City
Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City brings business back to the classroom by providing programs to promote financial literacy, inspire entrepreneurship, and prepare students (K-12) for success in a 21st century workplace. By connecting classrooms with business and community volunteers in a hands-on learning environment, we equip Kansas City's next generation with the skills they need for a prosperous future. Visit www.jagkc.org.
February 15, 2017 - Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City receives national honor for top performance
Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City has been awarded Junior Achievement USA®'s (JA USA) highest honor: The 5-Star Award. The purpose of the Star Award is to recognize staff and boards of JA Areas that meet Junior Achievement's national standards in operational efficiency and through strong representation of the JA brand. Recipients must demonstrate growth in student impact and superior fiscal performance. Achievement against these criteria is certified through JA USA and audited financial statements.
Junior Achievement partnered with Indian Woods Middle School to give 7th and 8th grade students a taste of life as an entrepreneur. Throughout the fall semester, students participated in the online blended program JA It's My Business. The curriculum provides students an opportunity to experience the initial steps of a business startup - from developing its ideation, innovation, and market research through to its design and prototyping.
After weeks of the lessons, students pitched their startup ideas to five Kansas City business leaders in hopes of winning the grand prize - classroom bucks to spend at the school store. But one team received much more than bragging rights. With an idea to create an app to encourage student-to-student learning, one group inspired Dr. Jim Hinson, Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District, to fund creation of their business through the technology department!
Judges of the competition included:
- Debby Ballard, Director of Community Affairs at Sprint and President of the Sprint Foundation
- Joan Wells, CEO & Co-Founder of Wellington
- Dr. Jim Hinson, Superintendent of Shawnee Mission School District
JAKC teamed up with Independence School District and Arvest Bank to provide Financially Fit Families - a multi-generational program helping children and their parents take control of their financial success. We supported eight families as they learned to manage money, navigate banking, and understand the importance of budgeting through experiential lessons and activities. The healthy financial habits established by each family will undoubtedly carry on for generations to come.
Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City and the University of Missouri-Kansas City teamed up to offer middle-school students a real college experience to help them visualize a college education as a realistic future path.
A team of UMKC staff spent all day with 40 sixth-graders from Tomahawk Elementary School in Overland Park, KS teaching four sessions of the "JA It's My Future" career-planning curriculum, followed by a campus tour and on-campus lunch.
Throughout the month of November, Junior Achievement piloted JA Launch Lesson, a new program offering an opportunity for students to engage with local entrepreneurs to gain a better understanding of the benefits and challenges of starting a business. In collaboration with the Kauffman Foundation, students attended one session of 1 Million Cups – where entrepreneurs present, connect, and discover solutions. Following one session, students joined Bean Baron, Danny O'Neill at The Roasterie for a tour and a tasting as he shared the struggles and triumphs of his career. "It's essential to develop the creative and innovative potential of young people through non-formal learning, like taking a tour of The Roasterie, in ways that are relevant to being exposed to successful entrepreneurship that has an impact on the community," said O'Neill. "As a business owner, I have a responsibility, and one that I take very seriously, to touch kids and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit in an authentic and meaningful way, allowing them to envision what's truly possible."