Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. (JA) is part of the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy.
Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA provides programs for students which focus on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness. The goal is to teach concepts through experiential learning, allowing young people to put their new knowledge and skills into practice. For example, students in an elementary school might learn about unit versus assembly line production by producing donuts. Or high school students might participate in our popular JA Stock Market Challenge, a stock market simulation competition.
Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain:
- Builds young people's capacity to spur economic development and contribute to America's global competitiveness.
- Inspires students to stay in school by demonstrating relevant benefits to education and work readiness.
- Partners with businesses to provide rewarding employee volunteer opportunities.
- Trains 6,000 volunteers to teach students through relevant, responsive, innovative programs in more than 500 participating schools.
- Reached more than 115,000 students throughout Metro Denver, Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming during the 2017/18 school year.
- Celebrated 68 years of service to Colorado in 2018
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019, Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. These men saw a need to teach children about "the obligations and responsibilities belonging to citizenship" and to help young people understand concepts related to "thrift, economy, and industry." While the words have changed, JA's purpose today is essentially the same: to prepare young people to manage their money, develop a strong work ethic, and embrace free enterprise.
Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain (JA-Rocky Mountain) was established in 1950, is based in Denver, CO, and has been at the forefront of developing and implementing new and relevant curriculum to inspire K-12 students for 68 years. JA partners with all metro area school districts and leverages the collaborative power of more than 100 local businesses and 11 colleges/universities for over 6,100 volunteers to get things done.
Based on five continuous years of rigorous evaluations and research through an external firm, we know JA programs are effective at teaching young people to own their economic success. Notable outcomes include:
• JA students are more confident in their ability to manage and control their finances.
• JA programs help students gain the skills employers need to thrive in today's economy.
• JA students embody an entrepreneurial spirit and understand how to leverage resources to launch a business.
• JA alumni start businesses at 2 ½ times the general population.
• JA alumni earn 20% more, and incur less debt, over their lifetime than the general population.
• JA alumni are 30% more likely to obtain a bachelor's degree, and 67% more likely to obtain a graduate degree, than the general population.
This is what students are saying they have learned from JA:
"Dear [JA Volunteer],
I am not going to just sit here and write one million 'thank-you's', instead I am going to write you two million 'you inspired-me's' even though my teacher said to say thank you, this is the truth. You inspired me and now I took what we learned and told the other classes about what we did and guess what, we now have our own businesses outside and we play with them at recess. I always look forward to Junior Achievement every year because we learn about our local town and what will happen when we grow up."
- 4th grade student
"I learned how to manage my money and prepare for my future."
- Elementary School Student
"I learned that you need to pay attention and have skills. Participate, show respect, graduate, make something of yourself and stay in school." - Middle School Student
Here is what JA volunteers say of their experience:
"I can't even begin to explain the impact that this day had on me. The kids were fantastic, and very interested in what we were trying to do. The program materials were well suited for the age group and there were ample opportunities to add to the presentation using life and community examples. Although I was a little nervous going in, it didn't take long to get involved with the students and the materials and things went really well!"
"So far I've taught 304 JA students. Every class has been a wonderful experience. It's amazing how thirsty our children are for knowledge. They LOVE JA! and so do I!"
"The teacher had the students write thank you cards for me. One was particularly inspiring, 'Thanks for coming to our class! You taught me to be more positive, proactive, and how to plan for the future well before it comes. You changed my life and the way I view things! Thanks.'"
Here is what teachers are saying of the JA program experience:
"My students looked forward to the JA representative coming to our class every week for the time she was with us. They were very engaged and learned so much. It truly was a wonderful experience for them. I would love to be involved in JA in the future."
"The students were highly engaged with our volunteer and the activities, as evidenced by their eagerness and willingness to talk and share with one another and the volunteer. All students were able to participate, which was especially meaningful for our second language learners and specials needs students."
"The kids were wonderfully engaged and walked away saying, 'Now I know why I need to go to college!' "