Middle School

Junior Achievement of South Texas

The core purpose of Junior Achievement (JA) is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.There is little that can be regarded as more vital than to prepare our children for a 21st century world.

How Junior Achievement does it
Junior Achievement brings business into the classroom. JA recruits and trains community volunteers to visit classrooms in south Texas and teaches young people how the real world at business works. JA volunteers use prepared and practical hands on activities to show students from kindergarten through twelfth grade how the business world operates and how it affects the students as family members, citizens and consumers. JA volunteers will meet with your students in their regular classroom for 45 minutes a week for 5 to 8 weeks depending on the program. Volunteers provide enthusiasm, life experiences and a willingness to teach children about how you take chances and shoot for the stars. JA provides the training, curriculum and a classroom. The dynamic interaction between the volunteer and the students promotes active learning and brings theory to life.

JA offers 6 different programs:
• Elementary Program – JA’s Elementary Programs are the foundation of its K-12 curricula. Seven sequential themes, each with five hands-on activities, work to change kids’ lives by helping them understand business and economics.
Middle Grades Program – JA’s Middle Grade Programs include economics and business curricula for sixth through eight grade students.
High School Program – JA’s High School Programs are economic and business curricula for students in grades 9-12 and include a student-led enterprise.
JA Afterschool – As a result of JA Worldwide’s partnership with the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention, three after-school programs have been developed to engage elementary, middle grades, and high school students in curriculum based program to meet the critical afterschool and summer school providers.
JA Job Shadow – JA Job Shadow takes students into the workplace to learn about careers. They are introduced to careers through one-day site orientation. It’s an authentic work-world experience for the students….enhanced with classroom preparatory and follow-up activities.
JA Finance Park – Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park, the mobile version of JA Finance Park, gives middle and high school students the opportunity to learn how to handle their finances and balance a budget.

JA of South Texas Results
During the 2010/2011 school year, JA of South Texas will use hands-on experiences to help approximately 72,000 students understand the economics of life. Of the participants, approximately 68% are economically disadvantaged with the following ethnic breakdown: African American (5.0%); Asian/Pacific Islander (1.6%); Hispanic/Latino (75.6%); Native American (.2%); and White (17.6%).

Who is Junior Achievement of South Texas?
Junior Achievement of South Texas, www.jast.org, founded locally in 1979 is headquartered in San Antonio and has satellite offices in Corpus Christi and Laredo and is a member of JA Worldwide. JA Worldwide is a global organization that operates in 123 countries and reaches 9.7 million students.

Developed by the board of directors and professional staff, JA of South Texas follows four core values: (1) the impact of our programs on children is our bottom line; (2) integrity and honesty guide our performance; 93) we strive for excellence in everything we do; (4) we provide passionate empathetic customer service to develop long-term relationships.

JA of South Texas’ 2800+ classroom volunteers come from all walks of life and include business people, college students, parents, and retirees. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of the organization.

Junior Achievement – Why It’s Important
JA is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. JA programs have proven to be successful at raising students’ educational and career aspirations and teaching students to create opportunities to achieve their goals. The curriculum aligns with Texas education standards, provides a positive business role model, and forms an effective bridge between business and education. By pairing community volunteers with professional educators, JA will bring economic education programming to students through south Texas.

JA is one of a few global non-profits to use independent, third-party evaluators to gauge the impact of its programs. Since 1993, independent evaluators have conducted studies on JA’s effectiveness. Findings prove that JA has a positive impact in a number of critical areas. These results are available free upon request at www.ja.org.

Our success depends on funds and friends
Special events serve as fund and friend raisers for JA. The success depends on individuals’ participation and company sponsorship. The five events are:

• Bowl-A-Thon – Associates from an organization form teams of five, raise pledges, and celebrate their fund raising success by bowling two games with co-workers, family, and/or friends. The bowling event is a great team builder and provides employees with an opportunity to make a significant impact on the community.
Business Hall of Fame – Celebrate the best of the American Free Enterprise system and join distinguished community leaders as JA honors south Texas’ greats form business and industry.
Golf Classic – Captain a team in this client-development, customer appreciation opportunity in one of San Antonio’s premier golf courses that promises to be competitive and fun.
Wild West Auction – Join JA at the Knibbe Ranch for the annual Wild West auction.

JA needs financial supporters who are passionate about helping bring the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential:

–  Invest in the life of a child so that he or she will be inspired to succeed in a global economy
– Help ensure that children are financially literate and workforce ready when they graduate
– Maximize the effect of your charitable giving

JA of South Texas operates on a $1.7 million annual budget and receives support from individual contributors, corporations and foundations.

JA 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. The first JA program was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, the organization entered the classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades.