Junior Achievement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement Logo.svg
Founded 1919
Founders Theodore Vail, Horace A. Moses, Winthrop M. Crane
Type 501c3
Area served
Website https://www.jaworldwide.org/

Junior Achievement (also JA or JA Worldwide) is a non-profit youth organization founded in 1919 by Horace A. Moses, Theodore Vail, and Winthrop M. Crane. Junior Achievement works with local businesses and organizations to deliver experiential learning programs on the topics of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to students in kindergarten through high school.[1][2][3][4][5]


Boys' and Girls' Bureau of the Eastern States League was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1919 to help educate young people moving from rural America to the country's booming cities about the means of production and free enterprise. The following year, the organization's name was changed to the Junior Achievement Bureau. The name was modified in 1926 to Junior Achievement, Inc.[6]

Following World War II, the organization grew from a regional into a national organization.[7] In the 1960s, JA began its growth into an international organization.[7]

For more than 50 years, the organization was known mostly for the JA Company Program, an after-school program where teens formed student companies, sold stocks, produced a product and sold it in their communities. The student companies were overseen by volunteer advisers from the business community. In 1975, Junior Achievement introduced its first in-school program, Project Business, featuring volunteers from the local business community teaching middle school students about business and personal finance.[7]

Today, 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. JA annually reaches 4.8 million students in more than 100 markets across the United States and has more than 100 million alumni. Programs are delivered by more than 465,000 Junior Achievement volunteers.[8][9] Globally, JA Worldwide reaches 10.6 million students in 117 countries.[10]

Junior Achievement Worldwide has regional offices in Junior Achievement USA, JA Middle East and Africa (INJAZ Al-Arab), JA YE Europe, JA Asia Pacific, JA Americas, and JA Africa.[8]

Several other organizations have joined Junior Achievement, such as Vlajo in Belgium.

Notable Alumni[edit]

Notable Junior Achievement alumni include former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, U.S. Congressman Bob Clement, Subway restaurant founder Fred DeLuca, American actor Arte Johnson, journalist Dan Rather, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, comedian Amy Sedaris, and British Labor Party Politician David Lammy.[11][12][13]


Junior Achievement programs for elementary, middle and high school students are designed to "help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace."[14]

Elementary School[edit]

  • JA Ourselves (Kindergarten)
  • JA Our Families (Grade 1)
  • JA Our Community (Grade 2)
  • JA More than Money (Grades 3-5)
  • JA Our City (Grade 3)
  • JA Our Region (Grade 4)
  • JA BizTown (Grade 5)
  • JA Our Nation (Grade 5)

Middle School[edit]

  • JA Economics for Success
  • JA Global Marketplace
  • JA It’s My Business!
  • JA It’s My Future

High School[edit]

  • JA Be Entrepreneurial
  • JA Career Success
  • JA Company Program
  • JA Economics
  • JA Exploring Economics
  • JA Finance Park
  • JA Job Shadow
  • JA Launch Lesson
  • JA Personal Finance
  • JA Titan


From its founding in 1919 until 1962, Junior Achievement was managed by volunteers from the business community. In 1962, the organization hired its first, full-time, paid president.[6]

Leaders of Junior Achievement included:

National Conference[edit]

Beginning in 1944, Junior Achievement organized an annual national conference, known as the National Junior Achievers Conference, NAJAC, to bring together student representatives of local programs to participate in contests. In 1949, the organization began allowing conference delegates to elect national leadership to play an active role contributing to program development, increasing public awareness and supporting fundraising.[6]

From 1944 to 1961, conferences were held in New Jersey, West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana, before finding a permanent home on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where delegates have gathered in August of each year since 1962.[6]

National Conference Presidents[edit]

Between 1949 and 1989, 33 teenagers, including 31 boys and 2 girls, were elected by their peers to serve as Junior Achievement's national conference president.[6]

  • 1949 Robert Preston, Chicago, IL
  • 1953 Dick Hagens, Dayton, OH
  • 1954 Roger Alvey, Bridgeport, CT
  • 1955 Donald Smith, South Bend, IN
  • 1956 Patrick Oliver, Detroit, MI
  • 1957 James Turnball, Detroit, MI
  • 1958 William Browder, Bessemer, AL
  • 1959 Michael Redman, Seattle, WA
  • 1960 Robert L. Walker III, Nashville, TN
  • 1961 James Harrington, Chicago, IL
  • 1962 Calvin Scott, Ypsilanti, MI
  • 1963 Michael Hannigan, Jr., South Bend, IN
  • 1965 Mike Arthur, Southeastern, MI
  • 1967 John Nelson, Houston, TX
  • 1968 Chris Streifender, Warrensville Heights, OH
  • 1969 Rodney Miller, Dallas, TX
  • 1970 Sharion Patterson, Phoenix, AZ
  • 1971 Don Didier, Rockford, IL
  • 1972 Phil Shewmaker, Louisville, KY
  • 1975 Rick Talley, Jr., Philadelphia, PA
  • 1976 Gene Musser, Willow, PA
  • 1977 David Harris, Cambridge, MA
  • 1978 Stuart Baum, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • 1979 Seth Eisenberg, Falls Church, VA
  • 1980 Michael Liss, Cincinnati, OH
  • 1981 John Tipton, Louisville, KY
  • 1982 Michael Bishop, Jacksonville, FL
  • 1983 Richard Titsworth, Sylvania, OH
  • 1984 Dennis Lemenager, Worcester, MA
  • 1986 Jeff Brown, Machensey Park, IL
  • 1987 William Harper, Watson, AL
  • 1988 Laura Donohue, Santa Clara, CA
  • 1989 Dan Chapman, Lexington, KY


  1. ^ Daley, Suzanne (28 November 1990). "New World for Junior Achievement". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Singer, Penny (18 May 1997). "For Junior Achievers, Volunteers Are Key". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Heath, Thomas (13 May 2012). "Value Added: This English major prefers the language of money". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Duchon, Dennis; Green, Stephen G.; Taber, Thomas D. (1 January 1986). "Vertical dyad linkage: A longitudinal assessment of antecedents, measures, and consequences". Journal of Applied Psychology. 71 (1): 56–60. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.71.1.56. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Wagner, Jodie (16 November 2012). "Junior Achievement program teaches Jupiter students life skills". The Palm Beach Post. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Junior Achievement Records, 1916-2002, Ruth Lilly Special Collections & Archives". Indiana University. Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c Francomano, Joe (1988). Junior Achievement: A History. Colorado Springs, CO: Junior Achievement Inc. 
  8. ^ a b "JA Worldwide Locations". Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  9. ^ "Junior Achievement Sparks Student Success". Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "What Is Junior Achievement?". Archived from the original on 25 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Junior Achievement 100". Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  12. ^ "Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee". Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  13. ^ "Junior Achievement Looking to Re-Connect with Former Students". Junior Achievement. Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  14. ^ "JA Programs". Retrieved 30 April 2018. 

External links[edit]