Junior Achievement's purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.
Too many kids do not have access to education crucial for their future success: personal financial responsibility, budgeting, critical thinking, career readiness, and demonstrating an entrepreneurial drive. Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain (JA) exists so that all kids, regardless of background, receive the tools they need to build a future for themselves in which they are optimistic, economically self-sufficient, determined, and highly skilled, with a belief in the power of free enterprise.
To accomplish this, JA provides in-school and off-site experiential programs to students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, delivered by corporate and community volunteers, who provide a real-world perspective in the areas of career readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. There is no cost for schools to implement JA programming.
While social distancing restrictions are in place this school year, JA is offering a schools an array of digital program delivery options, so that young people can continue to gain valuable lessons from JA volunteers.
The first Junior Achievement in the U.S. was founded in 1919 with the goal of teaching children about "the obligations and responsibilities belonging to citizenship" and to help young people understand concepts related to "thrift, economy, and industry." JA's purpose today is to prepare young people to thrive in the 21st century workplace and global economy by inspiring a passion for free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and instilling an understanding of personal financial literacy.
Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain was established in 1950, serving the Denver Metro region, Routt County, northern Colorado, and Wyoming. JA reaches more than 100,000 students annually. Due to school closures resulting from the pandemic in Spring 2020, JA reached 75,000 students in the 2019-2020 school year.
"What was really impactful for me as a student was just the presence of community leaders in the classroom. Just seeing the role models in a different form than a teacher, seeing business leaders, seeing that presence in the classroom and that relation to the real world especially at such a young age, it was always so impactful for me. It really helped me have a sense of economics and it's what started to drive my passion." - Andrew Hewat, JA alumnus
"Today was really exciting and new, being in an area where you're basically an adult [at JA Finance Park]. There are a lot of things here that are really interesting. My favorite part was talking to the volunteers and learning about how we're going to spend our money." - Leslie, student at Salida del Sol Academy
"I joined JA Business Week and that's the moment I feel my life changed. This is the moment where I learned how to become more confident and be a better networker, how to present myself to people. This is where I met some of my mentors, some of the people that have been helping me throughout my life…I'm now going to CU Denver, studying finance. I joined the portfolio management club at my college where we look at stocks and present stocks and invest in different companies. I'm with a startup called PocketChange doing brand outreach. What I want for the future is to become a CFO for a company." - Daniel Rivera Ibara, JA Alumnus
"When you're bringing in volunteers - actual professionals - who can say 'I am in the workforce, I am experiencing the world, and I have a job, and here are some of the things that I may do,' I think kids see the authenticity. They're learning from a professional who is out and experiencing their work every day, and I think kids take a great deal away from that." - Ryan Stadler, Campbell Elementary School Principal