JA is Really Newsworthy!

The Hardest Question Ever Asked

When you were 18, what was your answer when you were asked, “what are you going to study in college?” or “what’s your plan after high school?”

 Believe it or not, only 45 percent of senior high school students felt positive about being career ready, meaning the majority of high school seniors don’t know what they plan to study or even pursue as a career once they receive their acceptance letter.

According to the ACT’s The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016 report, when high school students were given a list of 294 majors, twenty-four percent indicated that they were either undecided or they did not select a major of interest.

Fortunately, since 2015, more than 300,000 teens have engaged with JA My Way™. This online platform engages high school students to start thinking about their career. It helps teens explore possible career paths, discover factors that they should consider when choosing a career, and learn to utilize job-hunting tools.

Visit JAMyWay.org to discover more!

 

"Survey: Most High School Students Feel Unprepared For College, Careers." EdSource. N. p., 2015. Web. 22 Sept. 2017.

Turning Students into Better Employees One Lesson at a Time

Does your child know how to write a check?

A new finding has been uncovered in Northeast Pennsylvania students are not learning a basic life skill—financial literacy! Basic skills such as keeping a checkbook, paying bills, obtaining a job, earning an income, or even budgeting financials are not a piece of the education curriculum currently in place.

The Report of Economic and Personal Finance Education in Pennsylvania to the Governor and General Assembly stated that only 28 percent of the state’s high school students take a course that teaches economics or personal finance.

Terry Ooms, executive director of The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development commented, “It surely has an effect not just on the economic status of an individual and family, but on the community as well. It’s tied to many indicators of poverty and social assistance needed.”

In order to combat these findings, Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corporation has called in Junior Achievement of Northern Pennsylvania to help address the need when it comes to Northeastern Pennsylvania’s economic future.

CCEDC’s director of economic development, Kathy Henderson, commented, “We see a skills gap in the students in financial literacy, not just in (our) business education partnership meetings, but in everyday life. We felt because there is a gap that exists in students’ education, the Junior Achievement program is a perfect fit…”

The Junior Achievement programs offer lessons in work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship, serving students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Students that have engaged in these programs have been found to be more prepared to enter real-life professional situations. With this financial preparation, students will not only be equipped with the skills necessary to be hired in the competitive workforce but will also make for more responsible and quality employees.

Click HERE to learn about programs offered by Junior Achievement!

 

Economic and Personal Finance Education in Pennsylvania. (2013, April). Retrieved August 8, 2017, from http://www.bing.com/cr?IG=EBDF4B986F074D7CA5D8C16CFDBC725E&CID=02FC68691D9867063BD062B11C9E6646&rd=1&h=Chpsil7tMLpR8Fw4gbsNT4B3eEjM0yHbalCa2MlmSf0&v=1&r=http%3a%2f%2fwww.dobs.pa.gov%2fDocuments%2fPublications%2fReports%2fFinancial%2520Education%2520Report.pdf&p=DevEx,5060.1

Ruff, K. (2017, August 4). Carbon County Junior Achievement. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://biz570.com/carbon-county-junior-achievement-1.2225523

How Would You Use Your Life Experiences To Better The Future?

For Jama Smith, her auction business is just one piece of her everyday life. Her passion for Junior Achievement (JA) has fueled her drive to be a corporate volunteer for the past 10 years, in which she has taught students from fourth-grade to high school.

She doesn’t just teach the program curriculum that JA provides, though. To add her own touch to the lessons, she incorporates the lessons she has learned in both her life and in business. One program she taught required the students to research careers, colleges and the concept of self-branding. She connected the concept with the students by explaining it as, “We understand that companies have brands… Do you have a brand? When you walk into a room, do people automatically think some things about you?” This was a question that all 20 students in her class knew from their own experience.

Life and work experiences do more than provide examples to the students. The sharing of experiences helps create a connection between the volunteer and the students. At  JA we believe that while we make it easy for volunteers to teach students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship; it's the volunteers that bring in their personal and professional experiences that make the programs exciting to the students.  

In the 2015-2016 JA program year, more than 230,000 volunteers gave their time to make an impact using their experience inside their classroom.

What life lessons would you want to share?

Click HERE to find out how you can connect with the future today!

 

Francisco, B. (2017, July 9). An auctioneer helps kids map careers | Local | Journal Gazette. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20170709/an-auctioneer-helps-kids-map-careers

Transforming Students into Ideal Employees

According to a 2015 survey by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 27 percent of Kentucky employers find it difficult to find workers with adequate “soft” skills. These soft skills include everything from effective communication to one’s ability to work in a team environment.  
 
Luckily for Kentucky, Junior Achievement (JA) of the Bluegrass’ JA Biz Town proved that the future of business looks bright. JA Biz Town focuses on teaching student’s entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness through a hands-on experience that they will never forget.  
 
The students begin their journey with their program volunteer, who teaches them the fundamentals of business. Once the 13 required lessons are completed, the students then move to the ultimate test when they are immersed into a simulated town (JA Biz Town) where they are in the driver’s seat. They choose a mayor through an election process, start their own businesses, learn how to professionally present themselves for jobs through mock interviews and even open bank accounts to deposit their paychecks. With their own checkbook, debit card and health card, students get an inside look at their future and gain a better understanding of their future roles in their community.
 
The students are not the only ones who get to have all of the fun. Local companies sponsor storefronts to help educate the future on how to own and operate a business on a day-to-day basis. Melissa Bacon, board chair for Fayette County Public Schools, stated, “ JA Biz Town / JA Finance Park is a very focused experience that we all believe will be a ‘game changer’ for our students and the entire Central Kentucky community. Our kids will enjoy an opportunity of a lifetime in which they can make adult decisions and actually learn first-hand how an economy works.”  
 
As for the business owners struggling to find well-rounded workers, have no fear. Your future employee is here – at JA Biz Town.  
 


Hailey, L. (2017, July 11). Workforce Development | A Living Lesson in Economics. Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://www.lanereport.com/79338/2017/07/workforce-development-a-living-lesson-in-economics/

   

 

The Heat Is On

How would your teenage-self make a change for the future of your home state with $10,000?

This was part of the challenge the high school students involved in Junior Achievement of Northern California’s Social Innovation Camp encountered when they were brainstorming ways to bring about public awareness to the effects of climate change on the San Joaquin Valley.

The heat was on as 10 teams of high school students, who were complete strangers, gathered for 30 minutes to come up with a plan to address the issue at hand with a limited budget. They then were tasked with creating a presentation to display their plan to a panel of student and teacher-chaperone judges.

The high schoolers showed their innovative thinking by coming up with solutions that ranged from envisioning matching-grant social networking challenges and PSAs to conceptualizing recycling programs that targeted elementary schools.

Dina Siebenaler, an economics teacher at Kingsburg High School, commented, “It was a great experience for the students and they definitely learned a lot about public speaking, working with students from other schools, and researching a difficult social issue to inspire our community to make changes.”

The winning team came up with a plan that addressed the drought issue of the San Joaquin Valley, which has plagued this California region for many years. The San Joaquin Valley, according to Suburban Stats, is home to over 685,000 people, all of whom depend on water to drink, bathe, grow crops, and hydrate livestock. The solution of student Noelia Avila’s winning team revolved around an app that could track real-time water usage in homes so that households could be more aware of their water intake.

The winning team benefitted from more than the financial and climate challenge when they were asked about their experience. “I enjoyed how we were treated as adults to make the choices about our project. I also enjoyed that our group was independent to make our own decisions. I learned that it is difficult to put yourself out there in a situation where you don’t know anyone besides people at your school,” Avila said. “I also learned how important it is to work with everyone in your group, even if it is sometimes difficult to agree on the direction of the project.”

The runner-up team planned to implement an educational campaign, which included an app to teach elementary school children about the drought in the valley as well as learning the ways they could save water.

Throughout the competition, one thing was certain, California’s future looks brighter with the help of these innovative students.

To learn more about students who have made an impact on their community click HERE

 

Brown, Laura . "Students tackle climate change ." The Kingsburg Recorder . N.p., 21 July 2017. Web. 8 Aug. 2017. http://hanfordsentinel.com/kingsburg_recorder/news/students-tackle-climate-change/article_9bc4ff11-a8a9-5eda-a0f1-17003068cc6a.html

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