Entries with tag education .

Why JA: Graduation Rates and College Readiness

The Challenge

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the high school graduation rate hit a record high of 82 percent in the 2013-14 school year. Despite this positive news, the overall graduation rate is still off pace to achieve the GradNation campaign’s goal of 90 percent by 2020. The graduation rates of African-American and Hispanic students are also improving; however, they remain behind those of their white peers. Additionally, once graduating high school, only 59 percent of students enrolling in college complete a four-year degree within six years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

 

The Role of JA

The mission of Junior Achievement (JA) is to inspire and prepare young people for success. JA does this by bringing volunteer role models from the community into the classroom to share their experiences with students and to facilitate JA’s proven programs. The programs, which cover financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, help students make the connection between what they learn in school and how it applies to their lives. The JA experience helps students better understand the importance of school as a means to becoming successful adults.

 

Proof of Impact

The JA experience has been shown to influence positive behavioral outcomes using scientifically valid evaluation. JA programs increase knowledge and influence attitudes in a way that results in students’ increased self-efficacy. This fosters selfbelief and sense of purpose which are necessary for students to overcome challenges that might otherwise prevent them from graduating high school or succeeding at higher education. A 2016-17 evaluation shows that JA Alumni have larger high school graduation rates and higher education completion rates than those of the general U.S. population. Simply said, Junior Achievement works.

JA Rising Women Luncheon Connects Milwaukee Students with Local Business Leaders

On Thursday, June 9, some of Milwaukee’s top female business leaders gathered at the JA Kohl’s Education Center for JA Rising Women – an event dedicated to empowering young women in business.

The morning started with a mentoring session with more than 20 Milwaukee-area high school students and female business leaders in the community. The mentoring sessions exposed the high school students to high-growth careers and a corporate environment, connected the youth with role models, and gave students the self-confidence and leadership skills they need to be successful in the workplace and community.

"The advice the women gave me was very influential and helpful," said one student. "I loved meeting such a diverse group of women – from different career backgrounds, interests, families, races – that was amazing!”

After the round-table discussions and interactive student-mentor activities, students and mentors were invited to join more than 100 other guests at the JA Rising Women program and luncheon. The program included the presentation of the JA Rising Women award to Dee Dee Pellegin, a key note address from Brewers Community Foundation Executive Director Cecelia Gore, and stories about JA impact from two JA scholarship recipients.

"It gives me great pleasure to see young people eager to strive for a quality of life that is meaningful," said Cecelia Gore. "I congratulate the rising women that are here today for being smart enough to take time out of your busy lives to interact with caring adults who want you to succeed."

It was an inspiring morning for both students and business leaders alike.

See a gallery of photos from the event. Watch a video honoring JA Rising Women award winner Dee Dee Pellegrin.

 

 

 

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Junior Achievement of Wisconsin awards more than $35,500 in scholarships

Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, in partnership with the Junior Achievement Women's Association, is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's scholarships. More than $35,500 will be awarded to 14 students across the state of Wisconsin. Recipients are college and high school students who have participated in JA programming or have volunteered for JA.

Congratulations to all of our scholarship recipents!

 

Allison Raddant Shawano High School Student Volunteer
Alexander Reinke Milwaukee High School Student Volunteer
Robert Wenman Mosinee High School Student Volunteer
Andrew Bailey Appleton High School Student Participant
Brett Benning Cedarburg High School Student Participant
Adam Gergetz Jackson High School Student Participant
Natalie Hagenow Sussex High School Student Participant
Kathryn Kugel Shawano High School Student Participant
Stephanie Lo Milwaukee High School Student Participant
Justin Natzke Marathon High School Student Participant
Melissa Oxtoby Howards Grove High School Student Participant
John Metzinger Wausau/Eau Claire College Student Volunteer
Eli Miller Madison College Student Volunteer
Chineva Smith Milwaukee Schreyer Scholarship

 

JA Celebrates Partnership with Educators Credit Union

On Thursday, June 2, staff and board members from Educators Credit Union celebrated their partnership with Junior Achievement during the official ribbon cutting of the Educators Credit Union Wellness shop in JA BizTown. During the ceremony, the mayor of JA BizTown also declared June 2, 2016, Educators Credit Union Day.

The partnership between Educators and Junior Achievement includes the storefront in JA BizTown, tablets and debit cards used by students in JA Finance Park, as well as teacher training and support of Junior Achievement in Racine County.

“Junior Achievement for many, many years has been working with our local schools to make sure that our young people can bridge what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world,” said Tim Greinert, president of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “Financial literacy couldn’t be a more important skill for our young people today.”

A big thank you to Educators Credit Union for their support of JA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JA Career Day in Mequon

Last week, students from Lake Shore Middle School in Mequon experienced a JA Career Day and listened to a variety of career professionals discuss their careers and the paths it took for them to get there. Presenters included a pharmacist, Mequon police officer, IT specialist, director of the Milwaukee bucks, and more. Thanks to all of the volunteers who presented and helped to make this such a wonderful event for the students!

 

 

 

 

Milwaukee Public Schools and JA Continue Partnership

Junior Achievement of Wisconsin is excited to announce that it has extended its partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools and the Learning Journey program through 2021. As part of the MPS Learning Journey, all MPS 5th and 8th graders will be guaranteed programming at JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. The Learning Journey program is facilitated by the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, Inc., which is dedicated to providing enhanced learning opportunities for MPS students.

Since the beginning of the MPS Learning Journey in 2012, more than 30,000 MPS students have had to opportunity to visit the JA Kohl's Education Center to learn about budgeting, savings, entrepreneurship, and more.

New Berlin's JA Jump in to Your Future featured in New Berlin Now

Over the past month, students in New Berlin have had the opportunity to participate in JA Jump in to Your Future events. JA Jump in to Your Future gives students the opportunity to learn about various careers from volunteer speakers who come in to the classroom and discuss their careers.

New Berlin Now featured a story on the JA Jump in to Your Future events. Read the article here.

The 2016 Legends Breakfast

On the morning of Friday, April 22, more than 100 people came to listen to Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame Laureates Craig Culver, found of Culver's restaurants, and John Mellowes, of Charter Manufacturing, share their business expertise and secrets to success. The casual environment allowed guests to hear from the laureates on a personal level. It was a very intimate, insightful, and inspirational morning!

JA student Gavin also spoke about how JA has inspired him. Andrew Weiland from BizTimes Milwaukee moderated the discussion.  Thanks to TEC for sponsoring such a wonderful event.

 

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FOX6 Visits the JA Kohl's Education Center for Tax Day

On Friday, April 16, FOX6 visited the JA Kohl's Education Center for the JA Tax Day event. Students in JA BizTown and JA Finance Park learned how to prepare a 1040-EZ tax form, and then filed their taxes with the JA IRS.

Watch the segment from FOX6 here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy National Volunteer Week!

Happy National Volunteer Week to all of our wonderful Junior Achievement volunteers! Thanks to you, we are able to inspire more than 160,000 Wisconsin students each year to own their economic success. We couldn't to it without it. THANK YOU!

Are you interested in joining the ranks of these amazing volunteers? Learn more here.

Why It's Important to Vote, According to Fifth Graders

Students in JA BizTown tell us why it's important to vote! Get out and rock the vote, Wisconsin!

 

JA Wisconsin hosts UWO Alumni Event

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On Wednesday, March 30, JA Wisconsin was proud to host more than 40 UW Oshkosh alumni at the JA Kohl's Education Center. UWO Chancellor Dr. Andrew Leavitt and UWO Director of Athletics Darryl Sims provided updates on the University, state budget discussions, athletics accomplishments, and more. It was their first visit to JA KEC, and when they entered JA BizTown they had the same excited faces as the JA 5th graders do.

Todd Teske, President, Chairman & CEO of Briggs & Stratton, JA Wisconsin Board Member, and UW Oshkosh alumnus, spoke about how his experiences at UW Oshkosh shaped his life.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this such a wodnerful event!

New Berlin Elementary Students Jump into Their Future

On Thursday, March 24, students from New Berlin's Ronald Reagan Elementary School participated in JA Jump into Your Future. Students were given the opportunity to interact with professionals from a variety of careers, including a Navy pilot, dietitian, fire fighter, chef, truck driver, and more. Business and community professionals volunteered to serve as guest presenters in the classrooms to discuss and demonstrate aspects of their careers and their journey towards that career.

Each professional presentation included an explanation of the volunteer’s career path, personal stories of interest to elementary students, hands on activities that reinforced information about the presenters career path, educational decisions, the joys and frustrations of the career field, and the relevance of their classroom learning to the world of work.

A big thanks to BuySeasons for providing costumes for the students at the event!

Check out the gallery of photos below to see what the students were able to experience.

 

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Two-Thirds of Teens See Borrowers, Not Government, Responsible for Paying Off Student Loan Debt

Junior Achievement Financial Literacy Programs Can Help Teens Make Better Informed Choices about Paying for College

Milwaukee, WI – A new survey of 1,000 teens by Junior Achievement USA and Voya Foundation shows that nearly two-thirds of teens, or 65 percent, believe borrowers are ultimately responsible for paying off their student loans, even if they borrowed more money than they are able to pay off, while 11 percent believe the government should do so. Fewer, 7 percent, believe it is the responsibility of the college and 5 percent think it’s up to the lender to resolve.

The survey was conducted March 1-6 by Opinion Research.

“What this survey shows is that today’s teens need information on how to make informed choices on choosing the best higher education avenue for them and how to pay for it,” said Tim Greinert, president of JA Wisconsin “This is why it’s so critical that our young people have the kinds of financial literacy programs JA offers free to schools in our community.”

Greinert notes that a four-year college education is the second largest investment many people will make in their lifetimes, and yet decisions to take on student debt are made by 17 and 18 year olds who have received little to no financial literacy education. This can result in students assuming more debt than they are able to pay off with their expected future income.

Each year, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin reaches more than 160,000 students in the state with programs focused on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Another resource available to teens, parents, teachers, and school counselors is JA Influencer, a free online resource that explores the opportunities and challenges associated with student loans. A guide titled “Understanding The Student Loan Explosion: Implications for Students and Their Families,” also investigates the various factors students should take into consideration when exploring opportunities in higher education. These include gaining a better understanding of the real costs of going to college and weighing alternatives to a four-year school, such as community college and technical schools.

JA Influencer is the result of support from Voya to reach students through Junior Achievement. Voya has partnered with Junior Achievement since 2001; the partnership is centered on the shared belief in the need to actively prepare and equip future generations to succeed.

The survey also found that 89 percent of teens who responded expect to attend college. Of those, 40 percent expect help in the form of scholarships and grants; 21 percent believe they will receive financial support from their parents and family members; 17 percent plan to work to earn money for college; and approximately 11 percent anticipate taking on student loans to help pay for their higher education. The results represent the findings of an Opinion Research Youth CARAVAN survey conducted among a sample of 1,000 13-17 year olds.  That survey was live March 1-6, 2016. 

About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial® operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children's education, and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit www.voyafoundation.com.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2015. The company had $452 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Dec. 31, 2015. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya’s vision is to be America’s Retirement Company™. The company is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible — Voya has been recognized as one of the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute, and as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit voya.com or view the company’s 2014 annual report. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.

For more information, contact Megan Olson at 414-577-3826 and molson@jawis.org.

To set up an interview with Tim Greinert, arrange a visit to the JA Kohl’s Education Center, or to request high-resolution images, contact Megan Olson at 414-577-3826 and molson@jawis.org or Jessica Levine at 414-271-0101; jlevine@boelterlincoln.com.

About Junior Achievement of Wisconsin

Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. is dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. The organization prepares young people for the real world, showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, create jobs which make their communities more robust and apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Over 168,000 students in the state of Wisconsin put these lessons into action every year and learn the value of contributing to their communities.

 

Record-Breaking Day at JA Finance Park

On January 5, 2016, 139 students, a new record, visited JA Finance Park! The busy day was a great one for these eighth grade students. 

The New JA Influencer

Thanks to the support of Voya Financial, a new thought leadership center, JA Influencer, has been launched. JA Influencer is a resource for educators to discuss topical subjects on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship with students. Designed with high school students in mind, the JA Influencer white paper and discussion guide dive into current events to prompt conversation and learning.

The most recent featured white paper, Understanding the Student Loan Explosion, authored by Penn State Economics Professor Ray Lombra, covers the benefits and challenges associated with student loans. The paper and discussion guide can help students better understand the issues surrounding student debt and make better informed decisions about paying for higher education.

Learn more about JA Influencer.

A Look Inside the JA Kohl's Education Center

Every day in JA BizTown®, elementary school students operate a bank, restaurant, city hall, newspaper, retail store and ten other businesses, while learning about budgeting, taxes, entrepreneurship, and more. In JA Finance Park®, students create a budget and learn about personal finance. Watch the video below to see JA BizTown and JA Finance Park in action

Thanks to Kohl's Cares for producing this video and highlighting the importance of JA BizTown and JA Finance Park as a part of students' financial education.

 

School District of New Berlin Named Recipient of 2015 Governor's Financial Literacy Award

School District of New Berlin (SDNB) has received the 2015 Governor’s Financial Literacy Award for its efforts in promoting financial literacy for its students. Nominated by State Representative Joe Sanfelippo, the District was one of 15 individuals, businesses and organizations honored during an awards ceremony hosted by the Governor and his Council on Financial Literacy at the State Capitol on February 10, 2016.

An important component within the District’s College and Career Readiness program, SDNB’s Financial Literacy Initiative provides opportunities that span from 5th through 12th grade.

“We believe exposing our students to financial literacy through a comprehensive initiative such as the one we developed with our partners, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and Layton State Bank, is more effective in establishing a strong financial foundation than limiting that learning to a single course offering,” said Kelli Kwiatkowski, Director of Curriculum. “Between the resources our partners bring to the table, and the coursework expertly taught by our educators, we have developed a very robust program for our students.”


Pictured, from left: Tim Greinert, President, Junior Achievement of WI; Joe Garza, Superintendent,  School District of New Berlin; Gary Szpara, Sr. Vice President, Layton State Bank; Carla Breunig, President, Layton State Bank; Kelli Kwiatkowski, Director of Curriculum, School District of New Berlin. 

 

JA BizTown®, made possible through a grant from Kohl’s Cares Field Trip Grant Program, gives 5th graders a chance to combine classroom lessons with a visit to an interactive, simulated town. Students interview for “jobs” to perform while at BizTown. They participate in BizTown’s local economy by serving as workers, producers and consumers. This visit allows students to put into practice material learned through earlier classroom lessons which introduce topics such as writing a resume; applying for jobs; creating a business plan; goods and services; supply and demand; opportunity costs; and taxes.

Seventh graders in the district take a Careers & Communications course that helps students develop a financial vision based on an examination of personal values; analyze and discuss the long-range impact of setting personal financial goals; and understand how career choices, education skills, entrepreneurship and economic conditions affect income.

The Layton State Bank Financial Scholars Program, powered by EverFI, is offered to the District’s 9th graders. By progressing through a series of online modules, students leverage the information presented to demonstrate an understanding of key components of financial literacy including: saving; banking; credit score; and financing higher education, among others.

An elective Personal Finance course offered to 10th, 11th and 12th graders gives students the opportunity to see the value in developing personal and household budgets; simulate the use of checking and savings accounts; the importance of debt and credit management; and realize how insurance and taxes come into play in the personal finance equation

Finally, the JA Personal Finance® capstone program presented during Advisory for all 12th graders, is the culmination of the District’s comprehensive financial literacy initiative, with lessons relevant to students’ current reality as they prepare for their post-secondary futures. Topics include earning money; spending, saving and investing money; using credit cautiously and protecting one’s personal finances.

“A strong understanding of financial literacy is an integral part of the Vision of Our Graduate. Mastery of those skills supports our goal of preparing our students to effectively navigate both the worlds of higher education and employment as they transition to adulthood,” stated Superintendent, Joe Garza. “We simply could not have built this program as quickly as we did without the commitment of our staff and our community partners. We are honored to have been recognized by the Governor and his County of Financial Literacy for our efforts.”

Miss Black Wisconsin USA 2016 Volunteers in JA BizTown

On Friday, January 8, Brittani Alston, Miss Black Wisconsin USA 2016 volunteered in JA BizTown. The Miss Black USA Pageant celebrates scholastic achievement and believes that education is the key to lifelong success and empowerment. "Volunteering at JA BizTown was an awesome opportunity because the children had so much fun but also learned a ton of life lessons. Part of my platform as Miss Black Wisconsin USA 2016 is to promote entrepreneurship for students, and to help them realize their part in supporting the economy. Junior Achievement aligns with those goals perfectly and is making a huge impact in the lives of the students involved," said Brittani. Thanks to Brittani for volunteering her time to help empower Wisconsin's youth!

The States of Entrepreneurship Education in America

 

In the summer of 2015, Junior Achievement USA undertook a review of U.S. states reporting standards, guidelines or proficiencies in entrepreneurship education for grades K-12. This effort is in response to the fact that since the end of The Great Recession, there are more small businesses failing than starting in the U.S., going against historic trends. The 2015 review indicates a substantive increase in entrepreneurial education efforts at the state level when compared to a similar study conducted in 2009. Junior Achievement’s goal is to assist all schools and states interested in promoting entrepreneurial education by providing proven, impactful and engaging entrepreneurship programs to the nation’s young people.

Download a PDF of this critical issues paper.

 
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