Junior Achievement is Turning 100! - Press Releases | Junior Achievement USA

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Junior Achievement is Turning 100!

Junior Achievement is Turning 100!

World's Leading Nonprofit Promoting Work Readiness, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship to Young People is Celebrating Its Centennial in 2019

Junior Achievement (JA) is celebrating its centennial in 2019. JA was started in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Strathmore Paper Founder Horace Moses, AT&T Chairman Theodore Vail and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Murray Crane. JA's founding was in response to families moving from farms to the growing industrial cities. The goal was to provide young people with the skills they would need to be successful adults in their new communities.

During the course of the past 100 years, JA has evolved from an organization operating primarily in the Northeastern United States and teaching teens how to start a business into a multinational organization reaching more than 10 million students in 100 countries with programs that promote entrepreneurship, career and work readiness and financial literacy. In the United States, JA reaches nearly 5 million students in grades K-12.

"Very few organizations make it to 100 years, much less continue to grow and thrive like Junior Achievement has," said Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "We are taking this opportunity to celebrate and honor what's come before, but also look toward the future as we work to inspire and prepare our young people to succeed in our ever-changing world."

As part of the JA Centennial Celebration, several events are planned throughout 2019. In January, Junior Achievement is kicking off its 100 Years. 100% Ready™ awareness campaign, which was developed by ad agency Publicis Hawkeye. In March of 2019, Junior Achievement will be ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Later in the spring, a JA documentary will be made available to PBS stations. And in September of 2019, there will be a Junior Achievement Day at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) in Springfield, Massachusetts, where JA was started. 


Quick Facts about Junior Achievement

The following are interesting facts about Junior Achievement.

  • More than 112 million Americans have gone through Junior Achievement programs since its founding in 1919. 
  • Research shows that JA Alumni are more likely to start a business, have a college degree and feel confident about managing money. 
  • For most of its history, Junior Achievement offered one program, the JA Company Program, where teens met after school and started their own businesses. Today, most JA programs are offered in-school in grades K through 12 and focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
  • Nearly a quarter-of-a-million volunteers, primarily from the business community, teach JA programs each year.
  • The first JA program outside of the United States was started in Canada in the 1950s. Today, JA programs are available in more than 100 countries in every region of the world.


About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Celebrating its centennial in 2019, Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in 107 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.

Media Contacts:

Ed Grocholski
Junior Achievement USA®
(719) 540-6165

  • "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

Get Involved with Junior Achievement!

If you would like to volunteer, request a program, or volunteer with JA,
please reach out to a JA near you!