Junior Achievement USA / Junior Achievement Worldwide (JA)


Founded in 1919, Junior Achievement USA (JA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing young people with the knowledge and skills to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make informed academic and economic choices.

Its very first program, JA Company Program®, was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, the organization entered the school classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades. JA has since expanded its activities to include a blended-learning approach for both in-school and after-school students.

JA’s current programs include core content in the areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. These are offered at the elementary middle, and high school levels. Programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the U.S. by more than 100 Area Offices in all 50 states. JA’s lessons in financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship align with national and state educational standards.

JA reaches over 4.4 million students per year in 176,714 classrooms and after-school locations.

JA uses independent, third-party evaluators to gauge the impact of its programs. Since 1993, independent evaluators have conducted studies on JA’s effectiveness. Findings report positive impact in a number of areas. Summaries of the findings are published in the JA Programs section at jausa.ja.org/programs

Organization Structure

JA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and provides strategic direction, leadership, and support to approximately 1,845 employees throughout the U.S.  The backbone of the organization, JA’s school classroom volunteers (more than 150,000) include business people, college students, parents, and retirees. Local volunteer boards of directors comprised of business, education, and civic leaders set the policy and direction for each local office.

JA Worldwide

JA Worldwide delivers experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, with the goal of creating pathways for employability and job creation. Each year, the Network of over 470,000 volunteers serves more than 10 million students in over 100 countries.



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