Junior Achievement USA

Equipping students to be financially literate, entrepreneurial and workforce ready

Junior Achievement USA (JA USA) is a nonprofit that works to prepare young people for success as adults and citizens. JA was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Sen. Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Its first program, JA Company 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. Over the last 39 years, JA has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school and after-school students.

Their latest endeavor, JA BizTown, is a model that blends teacher-led sessions with experiential learning. Through JA BizTown, students in grades four through six learn about the roles of business, government and citizenship by experiencing how civics impacts their daily life, from influencing economic decisions by understanding the flow of an economy inside a city to utilizing civil discourse to resolve a community dispute in a simulated town. The “town” consists of a variety of businesses, a municipal building, a radio station and banks. For students unable to visit one of JA BizTowns’ 32 in-person locations, the organization is offering online civics-based and role-based adventures students can explore, which will allow many additional markets to implement BizTown and its curriculum.

Junior Achievement’s BizTown: Combining In-Class and Hands-On Learning to Bring Civics to Life

Clarice Smith, our program director for American’s Founding Principles, profiles the nonprofit Junior Achievement USA, which prepares young people for success by bringing civics education to life through the JA BizTown program.

What’s the play?

Invest in Junior Achievement to expand civics and entrepreneurship education in schools across the country.

Interested in Supporting this Organization?

Contact the Roundtable’s Programs team to learn more about this investment opportunity.

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