100 Years of JA | Junior Achievement of Wisconsin

100 Years of JA

JA History in the 1920sJunior Achievement (JA) will be celebrating its centennial throughout 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. In Wisconsin, nearly 164,000 students receive JA programs mentored by over 8,700 business and community volunteers.

National JA Events

As part of the JA Centennial Celebration, several events are planned throughout 2019. On a national level, in February of 2019, a JA documentary will be available on PBS. In March of 2019, Junior Achievement will be ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. 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 started.  

Local JA Events

Locally, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin will be hosting the following:
JA Founder Horace MosesFebruary 18, 2019 - The 12 Days of Horace begins featuring a bobble-head version of Horace Morace, one of the JA founders, visiting featured locations in the 12 Junior Achievement areas across Wisconsin. Follow the travels of Horace on social media at #JA100 and #WheresHorace. Companies across Wisconsin who support Junior Achievement, such as Associated Bank, Johnsonville Sausage, Sargento Cheese, and PAi-Plan Administrators, Inc., also will feature Horace on their social media pages.
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Also follow your local JA area office's Facebook page. Click the JA area to view the Facebook link.
February 25, 2019 - The JA USA Time Capsule will visit Wisconsin. The time capsule will travel around the country to collect items to be stored in it for the next 100 years. At the end of 2019, the capsule will be dedicated at Junior Achievement's national headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the expectation that it won't be opened again until the organization's bicentennial in 2119. Individuals and companies may provide items for the JA Time Capsule. These may be delivered to a local JA office by February 28, 2019.
April 4, 2019 - Junior Achievement will host the JA Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. This celebratory event will honor four exceptional business leaders: Nan Gardetto of Gardetto's and Baptista's Bakery, Ted Kellner of Fiduciary Management, Henry Knueppel of Regal-Beloit Corporation, and Kathi Seifert of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, for their contributions to Wisconsin's economic growth and vitality. In addition, three other individuals will receive awards. Attendees will network with influential business leaders and learn from this year's honorees.
Join us!
Junior Achievement welcomes everyone in Wisconsin to join their 100th anniversary with a gift of $100. This gift will support one JA program for four students, provide a JA student scholarship, or support 100 trained volunteers from an organization or community to mentor students in a classroom.
100 years
JA history timeline

JA Alumni Testimonials

"Junior Achievement was really the only outlet, the only place, I could go where I could truly learn about business. Going to Junior Achievement, I learned everything. Junior Achievement is a great opportunity to understand what it means to be successful as an entrepreneur in this country."
— Mark Cuban, Shark Tank and Owner of The Dallas Mavericks
"This was the first time I think I ever felt comfortable getting up in front of a crowd and speaking. I think a lot of how I speak today came from Junior Achievement. It was the first time I did it. My parents were proud of me being involved in it, which is saying something."
— Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Neurosurgeon and CNN Medical Correspondent
"I'll never forget, as a fifth grader in a struggling immigrant family, the first real relationship I had with an adult executive was with a Junior Achievement volunteer, and that relationship has had a profound effect on my life."
— Juju Chang, ABC News Anchor
  • "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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