Empowering the Future
Celebrate National Non-Profit Day with Junior Achievement
Author: Kelsey Matzinger
Published: Thursday, 17 Aug 2023
Image caption: Our engaging and experiential learning programs brings smiles to students who participate.
In a world often consumed by its relentless pace and individual pursuits, there exists a unique breed of organizations that stand as beacons of hope, dedicated to serving the greater good and fostering positive change. National Non-Profit Day, celebrated on August 17th, serves as an annual reminder to acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable contributions made by non-profit organizations in various domains. We are one of those organizations that has been impacting lives for over a century.
Who is Junior Achievement?
We are a global non-profit organization that was founded in 1919, and our mission has been to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, JA USA operates in over 100 local JA Areas across the nation, and together we are the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. We reach millions of students annually through our engaging and experiential learning programs. Our three core pillars focus on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship education.
Pillar One | Financial Literacy: Equipping the Next Generation
In an era where financial complexities are ever-increasing, equipping the younger generations with essential financial literacy skills is vital. We address this need through programs that focus on budgeting, saving, investing, and understanding credit. These programs empower students to make informed decisions about their personal finances, ensuring they have a solid foundation for a secure future.
Pillar Two | Work Readiness: Navigating the Professional Landscape
The transition from education to the workforce can be daunting, especially for young individuals who may lack the necessary skills and insights of the professional world. Our work readiness programs provide students with a firsthand experience of what it’s like to have a career. Through mock interviews, resume-building exercises, and insights into various industries, students develop essential soft skills that will help propel them forward setting them up for success.
Pillar Three | Entrepreneurship Education: Cultivating Innovators
Nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship is a key pillar of our mission. Entrepreneurial programs offered by JA encourage students to think creatively, develop business ideas, and understand the mechanics of running a company. Students learn about market research, business planning, and risk management - invaluable skills for anyone aspiring to become a future business leader. By igniting the entrepreneurial spark early on, JA sets the stage for a generation of innovators who can drive economic growth and job creation.
JA's Approach to Empowerment
At the heart of Junior Achievement's success lies our unique approach to education - one that emphasizes learning through real-world experiences and interactions. JA leverages a vast network of volunteers from our local communities, including business professionals, entrepreneurs, and educators, to deliver our programs. These volunteers serve as mentors, sharing their knowledge and experiences with students, thereby bridging the gap between classroom learning and practical application.
Impact and Success Stories
The impact of Junior Achievement is far-reaching, with countless success stories that attest to the organization's effectiveness. Graduates of JA programs often go on to pursue successful careers, start their own businesses, and contribute positively to their communities. One such inspiring story is that of Socheth McCutcheon, a JA alumni who was inspired by a JA volunteer to pursue a professional career. She attended Brown University and obtained a law degree. Today, she is an attorney for Verizon. McCutcheon now serves as a volunteer for Junior Achievement in New Jersey. She feels it is important to “pay it forward” by being a role model for young people, especially those with circumstances like the ones she experienced growing up.
How You Can Make a Difference
If you're inspired by the work of Junior Achievement and the spirit of National Non-Profit Day, there are numerous ways to get involved. You can volunteer your time to deliver JA programs in local schools, sharing your professional insights and experiences with students. Additionally, you can support JA by partnering with us to help prepare future leaders with the skills and confidence they need in order to pursue economic and life success.
As we celebrate National Non-Profit Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the immense impact of non-profit organizations. Through our commitment to education, empowerment, and community building, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond immediate reach. By investing in the education and well-being of our youth, we lay the foundation for a brighter, more prosperous future. So, let's join hands, celebrate non-profits, and continue empowering the next generation.