Kind and selfless act by high school students in JA Company Program

Teens in the JA Company Program® at Sandalwood High School donated their total profit of $250 to Clara White Mission.

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Sandalwood High School JA Company, “The Plug,” with a check made out to Clara White Mission in the amount of $250.

Above photo shows the check in the hands of JA Company, “The Plug,” and below is Tiffany Mackey of Junior Achievement and Sandalwood’s Mrs. Jones presenting the check to Clara White Mission CEO/President, Ju’Coby Pittman.

JA Company Program donates profits

Clara White Mission CEO/President, Ju’Coby Pittman (center) receives a $250 check for the organization from Sandalwood High School JA Company.

JA Company Program® is a blended learning approach that offers groups of students the opportunity to understand the steps involved in launching their own businesses while learning the basics of entrepreneurship, financial litearacy and business success. Learn more about JA Company Program in Jacksonville.

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2014-15 school year results are in: JA of North Florida’s best year yet!

JA of North Florida 2014-15 school year results

2014-15 Student Reach JAStaff

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We reached 52,881 students during the 2014-15 school year with our financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs.

In other words, 42% of students in Duval County Public Schools participated in a Junior Achievement program last school year.

We are excited to share some highlights from JA USA’s end-of-year results. These results demonstrate the impact our organization, volunteers and donors are making on the lives of young people in North Florida.

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For the first time in its 52-year history, JA of North Florida is in the top 25 of the 115 JA Areas in the United States, and is now the second largest JA Area in the state of Florida, second only to JA of Tampa Bay!

Instructional hours increased

Last school year, the amount of time volunteers spent with students teaching JA increased.

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JA of North Florida volunteers spent more hours per student than the national average.

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We are proud to announce JA of North Florida is 23rd out of 115 JA Areas in the nation in market share, and #1 of the nine JA Areas in Florida!

These numbers reflect the strength of this community of JA supporters. Give yourself a hand!

Thank you for giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices.
We look forward to continue sharing the impact and successes of the program and students involved during the 2015-16 school year.
To volunteer with us or to learn more, visit JAjax.com.

New school year, new ways to become involved with JA

Hard to believe it is September!Volunteer with Junior Achievement of North Florida in Jacksonville
We were busy all summer long bringing our financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs to summer camps throughout Jacksonville.

We held our first-ever crowdfunding campaign for the summer programs, raising just shy of $2,000. A HUGE thank you to all who donated!

Now that the new school year has started, we are busy recruiting, training volunteers and scheduling with teachers to bring JA programs into their classrooms.

In addition, new partnerships will bring exciting new initiatives to students in Duval County. Stay tuned for more on these experiential learning opportunities.

Many new volunteer opportunities are posted on our website at www.JAjax.com. There are so many ways to get involved with JA this school year!

During school, after school, morning, afternoon, evening, gender-specific, elementary, middle, and high school, personal finance-related, entrepreneurship-related, Reverse Job Shadows and more…Click here to visit our website and find one that’s right for you!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about volunteering, our programs or bringing JA to your classroom.

It’s going to be a great year!

– Program Staff of Junior Achievement of North Florida
Tiffany Mackey, VP of Programs (tiffany@jajax.com)
Rita Story, Program Director – Southside & Mandarin (rita@jajax.com)
Teresa Smith, Director of Special Initiatives (teresa@jajax.com)
Sabrina Kinslow, JA Girl$ Program Manager (sabrina@jajax.com)
Jonathan Bishop, JA Boy$ Program Manager (jonathan@jajax.com)
Melissa Daniel, Program Director – Northside & Westside (melissa@jajax.com)

Junior Achievement summer participants design businesses to “fill a need”

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Wayman’s summer camp used JA It’s My Business! as enrichment to their program.

What were you doing when you were thirteen years old? For students at Wayman Community Development Corporation’s summer camp, they were designing their own business and stepping into the mindset of entrepreneurs.

The summer camp participated in JA It’s My Business! During one lesson students identified the first entrepreneurial characteristic: Fill a need.

Each group designed their business blueprint according to their target market’s need, then presented their plans to classmates and answered questions relating to their businesses.

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Step one: Fill a need.

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JA It’s My Business! teaches the four traits of a successful entrepreneur.

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This group of young ladies designed the “Dazzling Diva’s Dance Studio.”

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Students answered questions from their peers relating to their blueprints.

To learn more about Junior Achievement of North Florida’s summer programs, please click here.

Volunteer Company Profile: BBVA Compass

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We Are JA is a series of profiles highlighting the people who make up Junior Achievement – volunteers, students, educators, donors, alumni and more. Celebrating the moments, successes and experiences of our constituents, this series recognizes those who are part of Junior Achievement’s impact in the North Florida region.

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BBVA Compass, Volunteer Company

Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Wagner reflects on their first year volunteering with Junior Achievement.

JA: This was BBVA Compass’ first year volunteering. What has the feedback been like from your team?
Jenny Wagner: The feedback from the BBVA Compass Volunteer Chapter in Jacksonville has been amazing. Our team of employee volunteers had never executed financial education events of this scale and magnitude.

From start to finish, the Junior Achievement team made the training process simple and seamless for our employees – giving them the confidence to deliver the new financial literacy program to students in our communities.

A majority of our volunteers said it exceeded their expectations and in fact, many of our employees have expressed interest in teaching JA again!

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What does your team enjoy most about volunteering with Junior Achievement?
Time and time again, our volunteers express how much they love being able to lend their financial expertise to the communities where we live and work.

The joy on the children’s faces and the personal satisfaction of knowing we helped make a difference in their lives is priceless. I’m proud of our team’s work and truly believe that our BBVA Compass volunteers have the biggest hearts in Northeast Florida!

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BBVA Compass brought JA in a Day to 98 classes across four schools this year. What is your favorite memory from that time?
Our volunteers had the opportunity to interact and learn from children of all ages. As you can imagine, there are plenty of funny stories to tell.

My favorite memory was listening to our volunteers share their JA experiences and stories. The intent of teaching was to give back to the kids in our communities, but an unexpected delight was realizing how much the kids gave back to all of us.


Junior Achievement of North Florida Volunteer

Junior Achievement Volunteers

Junior Achievement Volunteers

To learn more about volunteering with Junior Achievement of North Florida, please visit www.JAjax.com.

Stay up to date with all things Junior Achievement

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Read April’s edition of our monthly newsletter here.

To get JA news delivered right to your inbox, please click here to become a subscriber.

Junior Achievement’s Company Program teaches lessons in entrepreneurship

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Englewood High School students of JA company, “School Swag,” from left to right: Almir Keserovic, Tyree Silver, Anthony Montgomery and Reid Ellis. The company sold t-shirts for Spring Break 2015.

The JA Company Program lets high school students become entrepreneurs and puts them face-to-face with all the challenges associated with it, including budgeting, teamwork, inventory and marketing.

Seniors at Englewood High School have been facing those challenges all school year running their t-shirt company, “School Swag.”

The students took on leadership roles in finance, marketing, supply and demand and operations. They also learned the importance of communicating effectively as a salesperson.

Once they decided to sell t-shirts and tank tops for Spring Break, their first challenge was getting an inventory of shirts. Luckily, a connection with Mandarin Rotary member, Ladson Montgomery, came through with a shirt donation and the students were ready to begin sketching their designs.

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The participating students are part of Englewood’s “Promotional Enterprises” program which provides courses in business education with a focus on marketing and manufacturing. Given the nature of that program, tools including a printing press and computers equipped with design software were already at their fingertips – a perfect resource for their t-shirt business.

“Out of many ideas, we narrowed it down to t shirts and tank tops for Spring Break,” said Reid Ellis, 18. “We came up with two prints: one said ‘Spring Break 2015’ and the other, ‘I Can’t Keep Calm It’s Spring Break.’”

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With a production cost of $3 to print, the students sold their shirts to fellow students and faculty for $10 during lunch.

They marketed their product with posters around campus and a commercial on the school news. Word-of-mouth spread further awareness.

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“This program has helped prepare us and put us in the mindset of what it’s like in business in the real world,” said Reid. “It’s definitely a good program to be a part of because it gives us leadership opportunities.”

“Being in high school, most of us aren’t aware of everything it takes to run a business. This gives us a snapshot. It can help us later on in our jobs because we know what skills are required. During a job interview, mentioning that we participated in Junior Achievement can make us valuable candidates.”

The JA Company Program is also underway at Wolfson High School and new classes will start in the fall.

Get involved with JA Company Program!

If you are a small business owner, have a knack for entrepreneurship, or are interested in getting involved with JA Company Program during the 2015-2016 school year, we’d love to have you as a volunteer!

Please contact Tiffany Mackey, Junior Achievement VP of Programs, at 904-398-9944 ext.230 or email tiffany@jajax.com.

To learn more about JA Company Program, please visit our website.

High school girls learn importance of personal branding during entrepreneur conference

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On March 6, twenty-four local businesswomen mentored a group of 60 high school girls for the 10th annual It’s HER Business entrepreneur conference held at the University of North Florida.

Junior Achievement brought JA It’s My Future and adapted one of its lessons as “It’s MY Brand” to fit the conference theme.

Through self-reflection and creation of a personal logo, the girls explored the importance of building a positive personal brand for the future.

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The girls were reminded that their social media pages have an influence on their brand and reputation.

During the activity the girls thought about what their brand would look like if they had to draw it on paper. Once they sketched out their brands they presented to the group.

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It’s HER Business is a one-day conference that pairs women mentors with girls ages 15-18 enrolled in high school. It is designed to encourage financial literacy and help girls learn about starting businesses and managing personal finances through interactive games and hands-on activities.

The Junior Achievement lesson taught at this event is part of JA of North Florida’s JA Girl$ initiative, which empowers young women to take charge of their financial futures and live to their fullest potential.

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For more photos, visit the It’s HER Business Facebook page.

For information about JA Girl$ and ways to get involved, please visit jajax.com.