JA New York High School Heroes

The Junior Achievement of New York High School Heroes program provides high school students the opportunity to become role models by teaching and inspiring elementary students. Click here to read about the High School Heroes Essay Contest.

High School Heroes work in teams of 2-3 and spend a school day in a local classroom. As teachers for the day, they'll teach a series of 5 or 6 fun and interactive lessons to an elementary school classroom.

When and where?
We partner with high schools throughout NYC, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Most High School Hero volunteer events are held at an elementary school close to the Heroes' high school. The program takes place during regular school hours (8:30am-2pm) with standard lunch breaks.

What do Heroes teach?
JA programs focus on one or more of our "three pillars" of student success: financial literacy, college and career readiness, and entrepreneurship. Each JA elementary program lesson is activity-based, reinforcing important financial literacy concepts through hands-on learning.

How are student volunteers prepped?
All High School Heroes are required to attend two 45 minute training sessions provided by JA staff at your school. During the training, they receive their teaching kits, learn how to prepare the lessons, and practice effective classroom management skills.

  • Be a role model for younger students while strengthening and practicing leadership and teamwork skills

  • Heroes can earn community service hours for graduation

  • Heroes build public speaking and presentation skills. (link to evaluation results)

  • Heroes can learn what it's like to be a teacher and gain valuable work-related experience

  • Great resume builder and community service project to highlight on college applications

  • Opportunity to apply for a scholarship essay competition
High School Heroes Essay Contest
What have former Heroes said about their experience? Each year, JA New York invites High School Hero youth volunteers to write an essay about their volunteer experience and enter it into our essay contest. The theme of the essay is updated each year to help guide High School Heroes in their writing. Submissions must be received within two week of the High School Heroes event. Prizes are awarded to the top three essays at the end of the school year. Applicants must have participated in a High School Heroes event. Other guidelines are distributed as part of the High School Heroes training.
Click on the links below to read essays by the top three contest winners and the two honorable mentions.
2017-18 Essay Contest Winners

1st Place: Andy Guzman
Community Health Academy of the Heights

High School Heroes was a unique and wonderful experience that I was so grateful to have been a part of. The program has helped me see that community service is not only volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating cans at a food drive but it is also being a positive influence to those in your community. Click here to read Andy's essay.


2nd Place: Genna Knoll
Plainview - Old Bethpage JFKS

The bell rang and students ran into the classroom. I looked at my partners and surveyed the class before we began the day. I was nervous, but mainly excited to have the opportunity to be a High School Hero (HSH) again. Click here to read Genna's essay.


3rd Place: Danielle Varner
Edward R. Murrow High School

The High School Heroes Program provided me with an opportunity to be a leader/role model to third grade elementary school students in the span of a full school day. I assumed the role of a teacher to engage in lesson plans with students regarding business education. Click here to read Danielle's essay.


Honorable Mentions

Educators: To get your high school students involved, please click here to learn more about how we partner with schools and complete our School Application form for consideration.


Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Communication, Critical thinking, Education and training, Soft skills Active listening, Applying information, Collaborative discussions, Communication, Critical thinking, Decision making, Following written instructions, Formulating answers from personal experiences, Goal-setting, Interpersonal communication, Interpersonal skills, Organizing information, Planning, Prioritizing, Problem solving, Reading, Role-playing, Self-assessment, Taking responsibility, Time management, Work collaboratively, Working in groups

Program Sessions


High School Heroes must complete two training sessions at the school to become familiarized with their teaching kits, learn how to prepare the lessons, and practice effective classroom management skills.


High School Heroes team-teach a JA program to an elementary school classroom (typically through a JA in a Day).


Students are eligible to enter an essay contest about their experience as a High School Hero. They can also continue to build on their JA experience through other programs such as Finance Park, Job Shadow, and more.