Junior Achievement Turns 100 in 2019!

JA Will Hold Several Events throughout 2019 as Part of Its Centennial Celebration

 Washington, D.C. – Junior Achievement (JA) will be celebrating its centennial throughout 2019. JA was started in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Strathmore Paper Founder Horace Moses, AT&T Chairman Theodore Vail and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Murray Crane. JA’s founding was in response to families moving from farms to the growing industrial cities. The goal was to provide young people with the skills they would need to be successful adults in their new communities.

During the course of the past 100 years, JA has evolved from an organization operating primarily in the Northeastern United States and teaching teens how to start a business into a multinational organization reaching more than 10 million students in 100 countries with programs that promote entrepreneurship, career and work readiness and financial literacy. In the United States, JA reaches nearly 5 million students in grades K-12.

 “Very few organizations make it to 100 years, much less continue to grow and thrive like Junior Achievement has,” said Ed Grenier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. “We are taking this opportunity to celebrate and honor what’s come before, but also look toward to the future as we work to inspire and prepare our young people to succeed in our ever-changing world.”

As part of the JA Centennial Celebration, several events are planned throughout 2019. On a national level, in January Junior Achievement will kick off its 100 Years. 100% Ready™ awareness campaign, which was developed by ad agency Publicis Hawkeye. In February of 2019, a JA documentary will be available on PBS. In March of 2019, Junior Achievement will be ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. And in September of 2019, there will be a Junior Achievement Day at the Eastern States Exposition (“The Big E) in Springfield, Massachusetts, where JA was started.

 Historical Milestones:

The following are highlights of significant events that have occurred in Junior Achievement’s history over the past 100 years.

1919 – Junior Achievement is founded in Springfield, Massachusetts. It consists of the JA Company Program, an after-school program that teaches teens about starting a company with the help of business advisors from the local community.

1930s – Despite the Great Depression, JA is able to continue operating, primarily in the Northeastern United States.

1940s – JA student companies support the war effort with recycling drives and by producing materials, such as clothes hangers, to be used by the armed services. After the war, JA begins to expand nationally.

1950s – JA continues to grow nationally. During this period, the first international JA operation is established in Canada.

1960s – The first overseas JA operation is established in the United Kingdom. By 1969, JA marks its 50th Anniversary with JA programs being offered in all 50 states.

1970s – By this time, the JA Company Program is reaching nearly 300,000 teens a year. JA begins offer programs in schools with the launch of Project Business, a program for middle school students taught in classrooms during the school day. By the late 1970s, Business Basics, an in-school program for 5th graders, is introduced.

1980s – JA is one of the first organizations to bring personal computers (PCs) into the classroom as part of its implementation of Applied Economics, a business and economics program for high school students. By the end of the decade, JA is reaching 1 million students a year.

1990s – JA began the 1990s with a surge in international expansion, rolling out programs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Soon, JA programs were growing in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. In the United States, JA was offering programs for all grades, K through 12, focusing on entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.

2000s – JA began delivering more experience-based programming through JA Finance Park and JA BizTown. These “Capstone” experiences allow for middle and elementary school students to run a town for the day, gaining a greater understanding of decisions around starting a business, having a career and managing money.

Today – In the United States, JA programs reach nearly 5 million students in grades K-12 each year. JA is implementing blended-learning programs that use digital technology to help make its programs more relevant and impactful for the students of today. JA programs are delivered by nearly a quarter-million volunteers, primarily from the business community, in more than 100 communities across the United States.

 About JA of Greater Washington

Since 1965, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington has been changing the game for area youth with relevant, experiential education for the real world. Our visionary philosophy and innovative hands-on approach is shaped by a passionate collective of the region’s business and civic leaders who come together as role models, partners and volunteer mentors to help young people be 100% ready for real life and work. During the 2017-2018 school year alone, JA of Greater Washington delivered its programs to almost 70,000 K-12 students in the District, Maryland and Virginia. To learn more, please visit www.myJA.org.

 About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in 109 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.


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