JA Board Member and Principal at writeIDEASFor Junior Achievement of Western PA (JAWPA) , the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases with Back To School (BTS) fast approaching doesn’t bring uncertainty. Instead, given the past 18 months of coping with the pandemic and transitioning to a new JAWPA president, the path forward couldn’t be clearer: continue adapting and advancing JAWPA in creative and strategic ways to add new value for each of the organization’s stakeholders.
There’s no time to speculate about the virus or how government, education and business will respond as BTS 2021 unfolds. For now, it appears restrictions will not be as strident as those imposed last year – considering the level of natural immunity and vaccinated protection that’s been achieved in this region – so JAWPA must remain focused on how to optimize its impact.
Over the past year we’ve made significant strides to digitize and deliver curriculum remotely, evolve events and fundraising initiatives to engage virtually, and re-engineer how future operations, programming and outreach will meet the needs of students, parents, educators, corporate sponsors, and other constituents. There are more ideas and actions being developed to continue this momentum:
- New program ideas include Innovation Academy, a “Shark Tank” virtual workshop where students develop sustainable business models/concepts and compete to be selected as best in show. She Leads, She Learns is designed to empower young women via engagement with female leaders. 18 Under 18 showcases young people as leaders who make their communities better.
- These and other new programs will be offered to our corporate sponsors as ongoing, direct engagement opportunities for students that include paid media visibility to ensure the power of JA and our sponsors is seen and understood with added impact.
JAWPA is integrating the talent across its footprint – from Erie to Johnstown/Altoona to West Virginia – to strengthen and fully lever our people against these new and exciting programs. We’re also advancing our efforts to reach students across ALL communities (nothing new to JAWPA) so that diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes an even more important and visible part of JAWPA’s value.
BTS will always mean Back To School for JA, but this year it’s also an acronym for Bring The Strategy, and we’re doing it!
Published by: Jerry Thompson, JA Board Member and Principal at writeIDEAS