Junior Achievement is back in Marshall County.
In March 2013, Junior Achievement serving Michiana merged with Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, with the goal of significantly expanding JA programs to impact more students in the 5 Michiana counties, providing them with the skills they need to be successful in the future.
For the past several years, JA had been serving about 450 students in 20 Marshall County classrooms each school year. With the new partnership, the goal was to reach 890 students in 40 Marshall County K-12 classrooms in the 2013-2014 school year, and 2,200 students in 99 classrooms within 4 years. With strong educator demand for programming and support from the community, JA was able to reach close to 1,700 students in 70 Marshall County classrooms this school year and is positioned for continued growth and sustainability in Marshall County schools.
The establishment of a local board of directors in October 2013 was key in positioning JA for future success in the county. “When you have local community members who are passionate and invested in the community they live and work in, and the futures of the children who live there, it makes a tremendous difference” says Julie Stabrowski, Area Coordinator for Junior Achievement.
Junior Achievement programs teach K-12 students how to develop job skills, make wise education and career choices, and become financially literate global citizens. JA programs are taught in the classroom by volunteers from the community who share the lessons and their personal expertise and experiences with students, helping them relate what they are learning in the classroom to the real world, and exposing them to education and career paths they may not have thought of.
Webster Elementary Principal Carrie McGuire has been involved with Junior Achievement for about 15 years and serves on the Marshall County JA Board of Directors. “As a parent of two children who participated in JA in elementary school and junior high, I saw my children learning things from community members that reinforced skills I was trying to teach them at home,” says Ms. McGuire. “As a principal, I want every one of my students to be introduced to the skills they need to be successful in the future, but unfortunately all families do not have the resources to be able to do so. If we can instill the skills that JA teaches in our children from a young age, we may be able to help alleviate some of the issues our community faces such as unemployment, homelessness and poverty. Junior Achievement is a small investment in the lives of our children that can have a very high yield on the future of our community.”
During the 2013-2014 school year, students at Bremen Elementary, Bremen High School, Culver Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Riverside Intermediate, Triton Elementary, Triton Jr Sr High, and Webster Elementary participated in Junior Achievement programming in their classrooms and additional schools and grade levels are being added in the upcoming school year. The Marshall County JA board has a revised goal of reaching students in 95 classrooms during the 2015-2015 school year, and 142 classrooms by the 2017-2018 school year.
JA is funded entirely by grants, individual and business contributions, and proceeds from local fundraising events and there is no cost to students or schools to participate.
Picture: Triton Elementary School 6th Graders at the J.A. Biz Town program in Ft. Wayne At “BizTown”, each 6th grader had a community “job” for the day and learned how the workers in a community are inter-dependent on one another. They also learned the responsibilities,duties, and salaries of many career positions.