About JA | Junior Achievement of Northern California


About Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement's Purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

The envisioned future - what we aspire to become. Junior Achievement maintains an active vision, front and center, on how we can have a positive impact on the lives of more students - guided by our core values: 

  • Belief in the boundless potential of young people
  • Commitment to the principles of market-based economics and entrepreneurship
  • Passion for what we do and honesty, integrity, and excellence in how we do it
  • Respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives, and backgrounds of all individuals
  • Belief in the power of partnership and collaboration
  • Conviction in the educational and motivational impact of relevant, hands-on learning

Junior Achievement Facts

What Is Junior Achievement?

Junior Achievement of Northern California is one of 109 local JA organizations across the nation that collectively form the largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for  their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs – in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy – ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century. Junior Achievement of Northern California is part of Junior Achievement USA.


Junior Achievement of Northern California inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy by becoming financially literate, workforce ready, and armed with an entrepreneurial mindset.
JA's suite of grade-specific programs are designed to be interactive and utilize a blended-learning approach that enables students to apply their learnings to life inside and outside of school.  All JA K-12th grade program curricula focus on three important factors for 21st century success: financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.


Adrian Dimech, Vice President of Delivery and Assurance at AT&T, is the chairman of Junior Achievement of Northern California's governing board of directors. The board is comprised of over 40 top leaders, representing a wide range of businesses and demonstrating a high commitment to JA's mission. In addition, JA has seven regional advisory boards that collectively serve as an innovative force in the advancement of our work throughout Northern and Central California. Cristene Burr is the President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Northern California.

Proven Success

Junior Achievement is one of a few nonprofits to use independent, third-party evaluators to gauge the impact of its programs. Since 1993, independent evaluators have conducted studies on Junior Achievement's effectiveness. Findings prove that Junior Achievement has a positive impact in a number of critical areas. We invite you to read the Programs Evaluation Results.

Program Reach

Through corporate, community and educational partnerships, JA of Northern California strengthens the region's competitiveness by bringing together a trained force of passionate volunteers to teach and inspire generations of young people to manage their personal finances, be self-sufficient, and have a shared culture of optimism, grit, zeal and enterprise.
In the most recent school year, JA of Northern California engaged nearly 3,300 volunteers and provided 516,485 instructional hours to over 90,000 students.

A Brief History

Junior Achievement of Northern California first opened in 1950 and is now the 10th largest JA operation in the United States. Since 1919, when JA USA was founded, it has grown to be the nation's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in the global economy.
JA connects students, educators, and business professionals together to build quality partnerships that empower young people to own their economic success by becoming financially literate, workforce ready, and equipped with entrepreneurial skills. JA programs inspire students to be financially capable, innovative thinkers and problem-solvers, steadfast in their commitment to education and career success. In fact, JA alumni are: 
  • 30% more likely than the average student to earn a Bachelor's degree
  • 67% more likely to have an advanced degree
  • Earning 20% higher household incomes than their non-JA peers
  • 143% more likely to be involved with starting a business

Organization Overview

Junior Achievement of Northern California serves 25 counties throughout Northern and Central California. It is headquartered in Walnut Creek, CA with satellite offices in San Jose and Fresno.  Additionally, remote offices are located in Monterey and San Mateo.


Volunteer mentors and facilitators are the lifeblood of JA's service delivery model.  About 3,300 volunteers each year share their personal and professional experiences and skills with students, helping them make the connection between what they are learning in school and what they will need to succeed in work and life. The only real expertise needed for classroom volunteers is enthusiasm, life experience, and a willingness to teach children how they took chances and aimed for the stars in their own lives.  JA provides the training, curriculum, on-going support, and classroom for these volunteers.

JA of Northern California Team


Meet the passionate and committed team that is working hard to empower our youth.

JA Leadership


Our staff is committed to make your experience working with us absolutely the best!

JA Staff


Our Board Members includes the finest business and individual  leaders in our community.

JA Board

More About Junior Achievement

Financials AND Annual Reports

We've consistently received high grades for accountability and transparency.

JA Financials



Join us on our mission to empower youth and create robust communities.

JA Careers


Diversity Statement: Junior Achievement is the recognized leader in "empowering young people to own their economic success®" through volunteer-led, experiential learning. We are dedicated to providing a positive, enriching learning experience free of bias. Junior Achievement welcomes K-12 students, volunteers and potential staff regardless of race, religion, age, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other legally protected characteristic.

  • "What I love most about JA is having the opportunity to influence young minds and future generations."

    Junior Achievement Volunteer
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    Junior Achievement Student
  • "JA Tech & Innovation Day allowed me to learn new techniques to create new ideas."

    Sequoia High School Student
  • "What I learned and gathered from my JA experience can be boiled down to confidence in myself and my ideas."

    Junior Achievement Alumni

Get Involved!

Junior Achievement
of Northern California

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