Junior Achievement of Washington Programs
JA BizTown is designed for 5th grade students who are not old enough to drive, work, vote or be the boss. That does not stop them from operating banks, managing restaurants, writing checks and voting for a mayor at JA BizTown. The program combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to JA World in Auburn - a fully interactive simulated town. JA BizTown encompasses essential elements of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Students understand the relationship between what they learn in school and their participation in a local economy.
Through hands-on activities, Our Nation (our 6th grade program) provides practical information about businesses' need for individuals who can meet the demands of the job market. Further, it introduces the concept of globalization as it relates to resources and careers and the need for students to be entrepreneurial in their thinking to meet the requirements of business worldwide.
What budget choices would you make if you were a 32 year-old, single mother of three earning $23,000 a year working in a retail store? What financial choices would you make if you were a 35 year-old CEO of a bank? JA Finance Park, an exhilarating, hands-on, site-based experience, lets students walk in an adults shoes for a day. No matter what "life situation" they assume, students participating in the classroom and day-long experience learn the importance of making intelligent financial decisions throughout their lives.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Antonio "Tony" Carnevale was a typical high school sophomore attending public school in the Greater Seattle Area. He was drawn to the tech world and enjoyed tinkering with photo editing and logo software programs.It wasn't until a local volunteer from Allstate taught a Junior Achievement program to his class that Tony discovered his hobby could become a viable business. JA Economics, a high school program, introduced Tony and his fellow students to the characteristics of the economic system and career opportunities. He vividly recalls his classroom volunteer. "our instructor Kevin Giboney told us, 'Anyone can be an entrepreneur. You just need to start with and idea and turn it into a business plan.’ It made me believe I could do something I really like to do for a living.”
With this new found knowledge, Tony felt he could master the business world. Taking a leap of faith and armed with an understanding of economic principals and how they play out in the business world, he launched a web and graphic design business. Now a senior in high school, Tony's company, Venbit, is profitable and expanding. He was recently awarded the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year through Ernst and Young. JA programs supply students like Tony with the leadership skills necessary to believe in the free enterprise system. You can follow Tony’s success on his company website www.venbit.com.