Junior Achievement of North Florida received a $7,000 State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship grant to carry out its JA Work$ initiative that teaches workforce preparation to high school students. These students will get a firsthand experience of the working world when they are trained and given a “job”: to teach Junior Achievement’s professionally prepared financial literacy programs to elementary students, while receiving feedback and evaluation on their performance.
JA Work$ allows high school students from low income families to have a better understanding of the workforce and the work place. Students from Lee High School have been recruited to participate and will be exposed to resume writing, job interviews and the responsibilities of work. Additionally, these students will have a deeper grasp of financial concepts because they have to teach them as their “job” when they teach Junior Achievement’s financial literacy programs to classes at Pinedale Elementary School.
“The State Farm sponsored JA Work$ initiative provides a direct impact on students graduating from high school,” said JA of North Florida president Steve St. Amand. “Junior Achievement’s workforce preparation programs that highlight resume writing, interviewing skills and workplace skills are coupled with actual work experience to give students a “how to” guide for use once they graduate.”
These high school students will receive a stipend upon completion of their “job” and much like a real job will be monitored and receive feedback on their work. They will also learn about responsibility, working in front of a group and the value of contributing to their neighborhoods. The elementary students who are taught JA programs by the high school students will not only be exposed to JA programs but to positive role models from schools in which they will soon be enrolled.
JA Work$ was implemented in 2012 as a pilot program thanks to State Farm’s support. This year, Junior Achievement looks to expand the program, preparing more students for success after high school.