JA In The News - Junior Achievement USA

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UCF Students Serve Over Spring Break

When you picture college spring break, do you think of college students volunteering to help young people? According to the Junior Achievement of Greater Birmingham staff, you should! For the past two years, students from the University of Central Florida, as part of the school's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program, have opted to spend their spring breaks volunteering in Birmingham, teaching JA programs.

UCF LogoDescribing the participants and their experience, Toya wrote, "For these college students, there's no better way to spend a week than volunteering and helping younger students make the connection between what they are learning in school and what they will need to succeed." Clearly, everyone who participates in the ASB program wins, especially JA students.

To learn more about the ASB program and to hear some of UCF students describe their experience, watch this promotional video, created by program participants.

Junior Achievement Takes to the Field!

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On Tuesday, July 1, the New York Yankees invited 15 students (grades 6-10) from the Community Health Academy of the Heights School (CHAH) to participate in their Healthy Home Plate Program. The Healthy Home Plate Program, sponsored by Legends and White Rose, provides area youth, ages 12-15, the opportunity to participate in a series of after school program events focused on the importance of preparing affordable healthy meals and incorporating these meals into their lifestyle.



Picture 3Legends Hospitality opens the doors of various kitchen outlets, where sous chefs engage the youth in attendance with hands-on cooking demonstrations. During the interactive lesson, nutritionists from Nourishing New York educate students about the nutritional value of the ingredients in the recipes prepared. The Community Health Academy of the Heights school is one of Junior Achievement of New York’s Gold

Partnership  schools. The Yankee’s Home Plate program is just one of several ways that JA New York rewards Gold Partnership school relationships for providing consistent JA programming each year for their students.

The CHAH students were invited to celebrate the successful completion of the program by being publicly acknowledged on the Yankee’s outfield. They were joined by die-hard Yankee fans, JA of New York president Joseph Peri, JA board chairman and Partner at PwC, Richard Poccia and Larry Leva, JA USA board member (and former JA USA board chairman) and Global Vice Chairman of Quality and Risk management for KPMG International. We thank and appreciate the NY Yankees for providing such a rich educational experience to New York City youth.

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Reverse Job Shadow Day Inspires Students and Volunteers

The Junior Achievement office in Los Angeles recently completed a very special job shadow at the JA Finance Park. Marisa Materna, senior director of special events and PR for Junior Achievement of Southern California, shared the experiences from some of the volunteers of the first Reverse Job Shadow Career Day.

On Wednesday, April 3, JA of Southern California partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) District Office of Transition Services, also known at DOTS. DOTS provides instructional support, career guidance and job opportunities to prepare students with special needs for the adult world. This life-changing experience took place in JA Finance Park for 88 students, which included a special group of students who are blind. The volunteers were caring associates from Union Bank, Citibank, AFLAC and Burberry.

3 kids at JA Finance Park

A volunteer from Citibank shared how inspirational it was to listen to stories of individual triumph from students of the Transition Program.

“Each student was able to articulate their proudest moment of every day: serving food to senior citizens, cleaning tables and making the environment at work more pleasant. We were able to connect because (at Citibank) we also focus on serving our clients and making our branch environment more inviting.”

Junior Achievement focuses on empowering young people to own their economic success, but sometimes it takes someone like the students at DOTS to remind us about our mission and how a singular experience can change someone’s life forever.

“I was hoping to make a difference in someone else’s life, but to be honest, it made a difference in my life,” concluded JA volunteer Albert Toro of Burberry Private Clients.

Dreams Do Come True!

While empowering young people to own their economic success, Junior Achievement also inspires participants to dream big and pursue their goals. One elementary school student, Michael Romaine, discovered what he wanted to do and set out to make it happen.

Kid on the phone at JA BizTownSam Swope JA BizTown, located in Louisville, Kentucky, helps students understand the economics of life and the realities of the world of work through fun, interactive role-playing. They operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks and vote for mayor. Drawn to a political career at an early age, Michael wanted to be mayor of BizTown. He discovered, however, that getting elected to public office was not an easy objective to accomplish.

“Michael ran for mayor four times in a row and never got elected, but he didn’t give up,” said a staff member at Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana. “He attended JA BizTown with his fourth-grade class and then again with his fifth-grade class. He signed up for JA BizTown Summer Camp three times.

“Finally, in his fifth mayoral race at summer camp, he won! He believed he could do it, and he was right! What a great kid and what a great message to everyone, young and old, to never give up on your dreams."

And what does Michael say about his successful foray into the public arena? “So far, it’s gone pretty good. I like the job. It’s fun,” he said. “I wanted to see what it’s like to be mayor. Maybe when I grow up I might want to be president or the mayor of Louisville.”

Now, that’s JA empowerment!

President and CEO Jack Kosakowski's 40th Anniversary Celebration!

On June 15, 2014, Junior Achievement USA President and CEO Jack Kosakowski celebrated his 40th year at JA.  He began his storied JA career when he was a sophomore in college at the University of Toledo.

The National Office staff threw him a surprise 40th anniversary party on Friday, June 13.

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

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

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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