Junior Achievement Alumni Needed to Shape Today’s Youth

January is JA Alumni Month and during the month, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington is getting the word out to its alumni in the Greater Washington area that the youth education non-profit seeks to reengage with its former students. Junior Achievement’s alumni participated in JA programs during their elementary, middle school, or high school years. Many JA Alumni participated in JA Company Program®, an entrepreneurship experience for high schoolers in which students start-up and run their own business.

A survey of 700 JA Alumni was conducted by Junior Achievement USA (JA) in the spring of 2016. The intent of this research was to better understand the impact JA has had on the lives of the more than 100 million people who have gone through Junior Achievement programs since the organization’s founding in 1919. Among the findings, 62 percent of JA Alumni are currently working in positions that are “manager status or above,” 90 percent of JA Alumni claim to be confident in their ability to manage money, this is especially true when it comes to managing student loans, 75 percent of JA Alumni have a favorable view toward entrepreneurship, and JA Alumni make nearly 20 percent more than the general population in regards to income.

The results of this research indicate JA Alumni, when compared to the general public, have higher levels of educational attainment, career satisfaction, financial capability, entrepreneurial activity, and household income. At the same time, a considerable portion of JA Alumni credit Junior Achievement for promoting their understanding of business, influencing their career goals, fostering a sense of self-belief, and enhancing their understanding of how money works. Given the overall gains demonstrated by JA Alumni when compared to the general public, plus the benefits that many JA Alumni themselves attribute to their Junior Achievement experience, what better way to engage today’s youth then through those who have already reaped its benefits.

"Junior Achievement isn't just about business. For me, it was a window to the future. And for 53,000 of our region's young people every year, it is the tools... it is the skills... it is the knowledge to inspire them to navigate their path to their own American Dream. For me, that American Dream started in Riggs Park here in the District and led me back to the Bank of America building around the corner from the White House," said Patty Brooks-Nobles, Junior Achievement Alumna, Immediate Past Chair, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington Board of Directors, and Senior Vice President and Regional Executive, Public Sector Banking, Bank of America.

Ed Grenier, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, added, “Our alumni are an important constituent group for Junior Achievement. We invite anyone who had a JA program during his or her school years to contact us. Our goal is to engage with alumni to help empower local students to own their economic success.”

Approaching its 100th anniversary, Junior Achievement empowers young people to own their economic success through volunteer-delivered programs focusing on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work-readiness. More than 100 million students have participated in JA programs since the organization’s inception in 1919. Notable JA Alumni include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, comedian Amy Sedaris, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and AOL founder Steve Case.