Giving Lincoln students the tools to succeed, one classroom at a time
By the time they’re ready to graduate, the average student can solve a geometric equation… but can he balance a checkbook? She’s read Shakespeare… but does she know how to manage a credit card? He knows all the planets in the solar system… but does he know the steps involved in starting a business?
For 46 years, Junior Achievement of Lincoln has been working to make sure that Lincoln’s students can say “Yes!” Volunteer businesspeople from the community are equipped with cutting-edge curriculum, and then sent into classrooms to provide students with their real-world knowledge and experience. As early as kindergarten, students are learning about saving for a rainy day. By high school, they’re designing business plans.
This school year alone, more than 1,000 community volunteers have taken JA curriculum to hundreds of classrooms in and around Lincoln, impacting thousands of students. By introducing them to financial literacy, money management, entrepreneurship, and business ethics, they’re helping to ensure the future success and vitality of Lincoln.
Over 350,000 Lincoln young people have participated in JA activities over more than 46 years. Lincoln JA has evolved from a single program for 250 high school students to a multitude of activities annually involving nearly 29,000 young people in 114 public and parochial elementary, middle and high schools throughout our 12 county territory, including the communities of Lincoln, Beatrice, Eagle, Waverly, York, Grand Island, Aurora, Kearney, Amherst, and Milford.
But JA Lincoln isn’t alone in our dedication to the leaders of tomorrow. JA Worldwide® (JA) is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers, all working together to inspire young people to dream big and reach their potential. JA’s hands-on experiential programs teach the key concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to young people all of over the world.
Junior Achievement USA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in 209,651 classrooms and after-school locations. JA programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the United States, by 109 Area Offices in all 50 states.
How we do it
Our approach is simple, but has been proven to be highly effective. JA uses hands-on experiences to help students understand the “economics of life.” Volunteers from the community bring the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential.
In the process, JA facilitates a powerful partnership between business and education. We develop the innovative K-12 programs; schools provide the access; the business community provides the volunteers and financial support to deliver the hands-on curriculum to students.
In order to succeed, we rely on:
- Teachers, who open their doors to this unique learning opportunity.
- Volunteers, who are the heart of JA’s learn-by-doing approach; and
- Investors, whose generous support turns classrooms into incubators for our future workers, leaders and entrepreneurs.
Our mission is an ambitious one: to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. It’s no small task, to be sure, but it’s the kind of challenge that JA takes on with creative energy, fervor, and decisive action.
The goal of Junior Achievement always has been and always will be to have a positive impact on the lives of an ever-increasing number of Lincoln’s students. That’s what we strive for every day, guided by our core values:
- Belief in the boundless potential of young people
- Commitment to the principles of market-based economics and entrepreneurship
- Passion for what we do and honesty, integrity, and excellence in how we do it
- Respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives, and backgrounds of all individuals
- Belief in the power of partnership and collaboration
- Conviction in the educational and motivational impact of relevant, hands-on learning
JA is one of a few global nonprofits to use independent, third-party evaluators to gauge the impact of its programs. Since 1993, independent evaluators have conducted studies on JA’s effectiveness. Findings prove that JA has a positive impact in a number of critical areas. Summaries of the findings also are published in the JA Programs section at www.ja.org.
A Brief History
Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Its first program, JA Company Program, was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, the organization entered the classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades. Over the last 30 years, JA has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school and after-school students.