Local nonprofit Junior Achievement of Arizona announced it is poised to serve another 90,000 Ariz. students-in-need with financial literacy and career readiness education over the next three years, resulting from $2.7 million funding awarded by Governor Doug Ducey.
“Financial literacy and workforce readiness leads to success and stability,” said Katherine Cecala, Junior Achievement of Arizona president. “Governor Ducey’s investment in Arizona’s youth and K-12 education allows us to increase our capacity and come alongside teachers to provide deeply enriched programs. We know educators can’t do it alone and together we can make a greater impact on the students who need us most.”
The additional funds will allow Junior Achievement to reach to 90,000 low-income, diverse, K-12 students from hundreds of schools statewide, primarily in Maricopa and Pima counties over the next three years.
“We want to narrow the gap and pave the way toward a more equitable future for the students in Arizona who need our programs the most. Our real-world education, coupled with transferrable skills and the belief in their future potential, is preparing those kids to succeed in work and life,” said Cecala.
JA’s programs correlate to Arizona state standards and helps reinforce the curriculum that educators are teaching in the classroom, connecting the dots to real-world understanding. Through the help of business and community volunteers, JA serves as an extension of the teaching team without demanding more of teachers.
The needs of kids have changed due to the pandemic. Students are graduating unprepared for the working world and COVID-19 has only heighted the issues facing students and new graduates. During the pandemic, JA also added online programs, such as the cutting-edge career exploration program JA Inspire, to meet students however they are learning. JA developed varying delivery models to meet the unique and diverse teacher and student needs. The organization brings volunteers into classrooms, virtually or in-person, to teach age-appropriate programming around money management, career readiness and entrepreneurship.
JA’s programs have proven to increase student graduation rates, increase critical thinking and prepare the most vulnerable kids to earn more in the workforce and be more likely to start businesses.
About Junior Achievement of Arizona
Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that equips Arizona students to succeed in work and life by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their future, and make smart academic, career and economic choices. Since 1957, JA has taught kids, kindergarten through high school, about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The organization’s hands-on, age-appropriate programs are delivered by more than 8,000 corporate and community volunteers. Despite educational obstacles during the pandemic, JA reached more than 65,000 students in the 2020-2021 school year. Follow @JAArizona on social media or visit jaaz.org/resources for more free online educational tools.
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