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."