Jr. Apprentice | Junior Achievement of Southwest New England

Jr. Apprentice

Developing the Next Generation of Talented/Trained Workers to meet Business Needs

Career Education + Work Experience = Engaged, Employable Teens

Jr. Apprentice (JrA) serves as an education to employment link designed to enhance and strengthen student motivation to graduate high school with robust pathways to a successful work life while simultaneously breaking down barriers youth face in the job market.  It is a year-long work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy initiative for inner-city Hartford students that involves weekly training, off-site experiential learning at businesses and institutions of higher education, and culminates with each student earning a paid internship at a local business.

Jr. Apprentice aims to achieve impact in both the short and long-term by:

  • Preparing engaged, career-ready teens: as an apprentice, a teen develops skills in a career path they find meaningful and financially stable.
  • Building relationships: we've all heard the phrase, "it's all about who you know". Apprenticeships encourage a mentoring relationship between teens and working adults. These relationships also expand a teen's network of adult role models and advisors. 
  • Fostering connections between local professionals and the future workforce: Apprenticeships close the gap between school and career. They allow current employers to develop the local workforce and attract high-caliber talent to their industry. 

Do you want to directly impact a Jr. Apprentice student?  Become a professional mentor or make a donation.

Need more information? Contact Eliana Cardeno.

Alumni Voice

"I am grateful for the opportunity to talk about how I have carried the lessons I learned through Jr. Apprentice with me these past 5 years.  The program did more than simply provide us paid apprenticeships where we were able to learn valuable skills (which alone is an incredible opportunity).  We learned how to create a resume, start a LinkedIn account, make a good impression in an interview, have proper email etiquette, open a bank account, create a budget, and more invaluable skills.  The bank account that I opened with Jr. Apprentice is still the same one I have today and the money I saved from my apprenticeship I used towards my college education.  They did not just give us the opportunity to make money but also provided us with tools so we could use it wisely.  Financial literacy should be a staple in education for all which is why I try my best to spread the knowledge I have learned with Jr. Apprentice.  My paid apprenticeship was at the Legislative office building in Hartford where I learned so much about the inner workings of local politics.  Deeply influenced by this experience, I knew I wanted to study politics.  Currently, I am going into my senior year at UConn where I will not only be working on my bachelors in political science but will also be pursuing my master's degree in political science as well.  Recently, I was accepted into the Obama Foundation Community Leadership corps where I will be able to use all that knowledge to create a community project in Hartford, the city I love.  I am also involved in many other programs and extracurriculars that are not all relevant here but, thanks to Jr. Apprentice, you can learn all about them on my LinkedIn."

-Amber Smith

Mentor Voice

"The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center hosted Jannell Brown for an internship during the spring semester.  I had the privilege of working with Jannell, who is an incredibly bright, thoughtful, and warm individual.  As our museum, Jannell excelled at visitor engagement, creating resources and activities that would help young people develop an interest in history and advocacy, she curated resources about youth activism, participated on tours, and staffed the activity station on our largest open house day of the year, engaging children in fun and educational projects.  We appreciated Jr. Apprentice's role in helping us provide this internship opportunity, and we are excited to see how Jannell will continue to positively impact her community!"

-Catherine Burton

Jr. Apprentice, founded in 2013 as a program of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, became a Junior Achievement program in September 2019.

Need more information? Conact Eliana Cardeno.

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

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