WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Finance, work readiness, and entrepreneurship aren't typically incorporated into school curriculums until college. Junior Achievement (JA) of Northern California saw a need for youth career enrichment and responded with free remote learning experiences to inspire and prepare students for success in a global economy.
JA's mission: Providing kids with resources, so they can spend more time planning for and dreaming about tomorrow and less time worrying about today.
"Most students come to me and they say, 'You know what, I don't even know what I want to do. I have no clue what I want to do for my future,'" explained Junior Achievement of Northern California's Impact and Program Manager Leah Rodrigue. "But we're able to expose them to all the different options that are out there."
JA offers programs focused on 3 pillars: financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness. The organization strives to provide educational events and lessons led by community business professionals who volunteer to guide youth toward future achievement in the workplace.
"JA means opportunity, the opportunity to develop and to learn new skills," said student participant Kimberly Freeman. "They make sure that students and youth are able to excel in every aspect."
"At the Junior Achievement Company Program, I learned how to create a company from finding a manufacturer to liquidating the entire thing. I learned how to manage all of it," recalled student participant Syna Shah.
JA offers several paths for involvement whether you're someone looking to volunteer, part of a district or school looking for educational materials, or a business leader looking to help the organization expand.
"It's just being able to provide choices for these students, to show them that they have options," said Rodrigue. "And also to be able to provide educators with the tools that maybe their school district is not providing them already."
She added, "We have these programs, they're free of charge, you don't have to give us anything. We're going to bring the volunteers into your classroom, all you have to do is be willing to allow Junior Achievement to come in and change the lives of your students."
Visit here for more information about Junior Achievement.