Acknowledging a superhero volunteer during Volunteer Appreciation Week

Halley McKenzie

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Our hardworking volunteers have made an impact on many students’ lives, and for that we thank them!

Halley McKenzie (pictured, with JA North Florida President Steve St. Amand) received the Richard Maxwell Award at the Hall of Fame event in March 2017.

And rightfully so!

Halley has been teaching JA programs for 10 years, is now the volunteer coordinator for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and has had a hand in nearly 20,000 students receiving JA programs since the start of her involvement with Junior Achievement.

Named after the CEO of JA USA who brought JA programs into the classrooms in the mid-70’s, the Richard Maxwell Award is presented to someone who has not only been an exemplary JA volunteer, but has also worked tirelessly to increase volunteer participation by others presented to someone who is not only an exemplary JA volunteer, but has also worked tirelessly to increase volunteer participation by others.

Congratulations Halley, and thank you for your efforts!

If you or your company would like to get involved like Halley, click here to learn how you can make an impact with Junior Achievement in North Florida.

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Fidelity Investments women inspire JA Girl$ participants

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Our JA Girl$ program recently partnered with Empowerment Resources to bring JA Career Success and JA It’s My Future to their Journey Into Womanhood program participants.

The young ladies visited Fidelity Investments on a Saturday to engage in the interactive lessons and ask questions to the ladies of Fidelity Investments. The women from Fidelity Investments served as inspiration to the young girls as they spoke about all things careers, personal brand and financial literacy.

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The young ladies participated in topics including:

  • 4Cs: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity
  • Strong soft skills
  • Work priorities
  • STEM and other high-growth industries
  • Personal-brand and job-hunting tools—resumes, cover letters, interviews, and digital profiles

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JA Career Success equips students with the knowledge required to get and keep a job in high-growth industries. Students explore the crucial workplace skills employers seek but often find lacking in young employees, and also learn about valuable tools to find that perfect job, including resumes, cover letters, and interviewing techniques.

Thank you to photographer Tonya Austin for the photos.

JA Girl$ is a Junior Achievement of North Florida initiative to educate girls and young women in financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship. Learn more about this program and ways to get involved by clicking here.

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JA Job Shadow gives Jacksonville students a glimpse of the “real world”

JA Job Shadow offers students a unique opportunity: a visit to a professional work environment and insights into how to find and keep a fulfilling career.

Recently our JA Boy$ program partnered with Jacksonville schools serving boys and young men to provide a JA Job Shadow experience for their students.

Students from Valor Academy visited the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Jacksonville Branch and Sally Corporation



Students from Young Men’s Leadership Academy visited Florida State College at Jacksonville Advanced Technology Center


Students from Young Men’s Leadership Academy visited Florida Blue


7th graders from the Young Men’s Leadership Academy visited three departments at Florida Blue – Workforce Management, IT Command Center, and the Special Investigation Unit.  The students enjoyed touring the beautiful campus and even had lunch at the Four Seasons Café on-site.  Special thanks to Market President Darnell Smith, Board Member Bob Wall, Paul Stallings and Deborah Phelps of ENAABLE (Empowering Network of African-Americas Building, Leading, Embracing).


About JA Boy$

JA Boy$ serves as a bridge between JA’s real-world programs and all-male classroom environment. For more info on this program and how to get involved, click here.

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EverBank partners with Junior Achievement to teach financial litearcy

Thanks to partners like EverBank, we’re able to bring financial literacy lessons to thousands of students in Duval County Public Schools each year! EverBank created this great video showing our partnership.

The following originally appeared on EverBank’s website:

“For reasons that should be pretty clear to all, we place great importance on the value of sound money management skills and training as well as financial discipline. To help support a stronger financial future for individuals throughout our communities, we proudly assume responsibility for sharing our financial expertise and knowledge in a variety of unique and exciting ways. Junior Achievement shares in our passion for financial literacy. And together, we’re helping to make a difference one person at a time.” -EverBank

5th graders think about future career paths with JA Our Nation®

JA Our NationJunior Achievement programs teach work readiness and behavioral skills such as what is required to land a job.

One of those programs, JA Our Nation, is redeveloped for the new school year.

Through hands-on classroom activities, the program provides upper-elementary students with practical information about the nation’s free market system and how it serves as an economic engine for businesses and careers.

The curriculum also introduces the need for entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to meet the requirements of high-growth, high-demand careers and the concept of globalization in business.

JA Get the Job game

For example, in Session Three: Career Clusters, students examine career groups and the skills needed for a variety of careers when they participate in a Career Hunt. By answering questions on Career Cluster Trading Cards they discover which jobs require special degrees or training and the average salaries of certain careers.

Students also review a sample resume and identify important work-readiness soft skills necessary for career success.

In the Get and Keep the Job! Board game, they collect the soft skills employers are looking for.

JA Our Nation is a series of five required sessions and one optional supplemental session recommended for students in fifth grade. Each session is 45 minutes in length. Like all JA programs, JA Our Nation is correlated to State and Common Core Standards.

To request this program for your class, click here.

To learn more about Junior Achievement programs in Jacksonville, click here.

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JA of North Florida receives 2016 State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant

State Farm Check Presentation

Thank you State Farm!

At our August 18 Board meeting, State Representative Jay Fant joined State Farm agents to present a $5,000 check to fund our ‘JA Work$’ initiative. We are so honored to be a recipient of State Farm’s 2016 Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant!

The grant will fund our ‘JA Work$’ initiative that brings real-world financial literacy & workforce preparation to high school students.

JA Work$ allows high school students from low income families to have a better understanding of the workforce and the work place. Three hundred students from Ed White High School, Lee High School, and Ribault High School – all Title I schools on Jacksonville’s Northside – have been recruited to participate and will be exposed to resume writing, job interviews and the responsibilities of work.

Fifty of these high school students will go on to teach Junior Achievement classes in three Title I elementary schools. The 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.

“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.”

Learn more about Junior Achievement of North Florida at

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Girls learn tools for success at Junior Achievement’s Day of The Girl

Day of the Girl participants

The inaugural Day of The Girl event hosted by Junior Achievement of North Florida’s JA Girl$ program and Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Inc. was held July 21 at JaxPAL’s location on Monument Road in Jacksonville.

A day ALL about girls, Day of The Girl aimed to provide a holistic, girl-centered approach to the Junior Achievement concepts of financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career readiness.

The day was emceed by Angela Spears, Angela Spears Communication, and six workshops led by local business women and leaders covered everything from saving money to leadership to social media savviness.

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“I learned why it’s important to save money now,” said one 8th grader from The Bridge of Northeast Florida TEAM-Up. “I want to be able to live a good life and I can’t if I waste all my money.”

A seventeen-year old girl from Daniel Memorial Independent Living Program said the program has made a positive impact on her life. “I needed this,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes already; I’m trying to do better. This was fun…I learned a lot that can help me now and later.”

Junior Achievement’s ‘Reverse Job Shadow’ was incorporated into the day. Presenters spoke to rotating groups of girls about educational requirements, salary range and skills needed to work in their career field.

Day of the Girl Voya Financial

“You saw the light bulbs go off,” said one volunteer from Voya Financial. “The girls were so excited to know they have a choice in how their life will turn out.”

The ‘Economics of Healthy Eating,’ sponsored by The Jim Moran Foundation, taught girls how to save money on food but eat healthy at the same time.

In total, 220 girls from the following groups participated in Day of The Girl:

  • JaxPAL
  • Girl Scouts of the Gateway Council
  • Girls on the Run – Northeast Florida
  • Daniel Memorial – Independent Living Program
  • Daniel Memorial – Residential Program
  • Daniel Memorial – Journey To Success Program
  • Virtue Art & Science Academy
  • The Bridge of Northeast Florida – Team-Up
  • Individual registrants

“I can’t wait for next year,” said one parent. “The girls were so excited to have a day just for them; all about girls.”

Day of the Girl participants

Day of the Girl participants

The inaugural Day of The Girl’s success is due in part to incredible women who volunteered from the following companies:

  • Bank of America
  • Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Macquarie Group
  • Primerica
  • Voya Financial
  • Women Entrepreneurs

Day of the Girl women participants

Special thanks to Chase Bank, Natural Life, and Panera Bread for providing in-kind donations to Day of The Girl, and to Celebration Church for stuffing the Day of The Girl goodie bags.

“There’s something magical that happens when you provide girls with a space to just be themselves,” said Sabrina Kinslow, JA Girl$ Program Manager. “To ask questions. To be confident in their answers. To be inspired to dream big. ‘Day of The Girl’ was created to provide that space.”

She continues, “Day of The girl provided the tools and role models to encourage the continuation of developing healthy, successful girls. JA Girl$ and JaxPAL know healthy, successful girls become healthy, successful women.”

Day of the Girl

View more photos on Junior Achievement’s Facebook page.

JA Girl$ is a Junior Achievement of North Florida initiative to educate girls and young women in financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship. Learn more about JA Girl$ and how you can become involved.

$mart Women Make Change!, the signature luncheon event to benefit JA Girl$, will take place October 20 at the Florida Blue Conference Center. The event will feature keynote speaker Sonia Manzano, “Maria” on Sesame Street and Author. All proceeds from this event fund the JA Girl$ program and make Day of The Girl possible. Click here to learn more about $mart Women Make Change!.

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Junior Achievement program helps boys make positive choices


JA Boy$ Dupont July 18

JA Boy$ participants play “Be a Success” board game at DuPont Middle School summer camp. Photo:

JA Boy$ volunteers teach decision making and personal finance, but they are so much more – JA Boy$ volunteers act as classroom mentors to the groups of boys they teach.

Recently, a JA Boy$ session was held at DuPont Middle School’s Team UP summer camp, hosted by The Bridge of Northeast Florida.

A group of boys played Junior Achievement‘s “Be a Success Board Game” that interactively teaches the ups and downs of making decisions about life.

Read more from The Florida Times Union…

JA Boy$ serves as a bridge between JA’s real-world programs and all-male classroom environment. For more info on this program and how to get involved, click here.

The Junior Achievement Grand Prix benefits JA Boy$ and takes place July 28 at Autobahn Indoor Speedway. Racers must raise a minimum $250 via peer-to-peer fundraising to secure their karts in the race. JA Grand Prix information and registration.

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Original link to story:

‘Day of the Girl’ presented by Junior Achievement and JaxPAL

Day of the Girl

Junior Achievement and Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Inc. present inaugural ‘Day of the Girl’ for girls ages 10-18

A day ALL about girls!

Day of the Girl is a subprogram under Junior Achievement‘s JA Girl$ initiative.

JA Girl$ and partner organizations, companies, and local entrepreneurs will facilitate workshops on topics of concern for 300 girls in Jacksonville, primarily in upper elementary school, middle and high school grades.

There will be lessons and workshops focusing on budgeting & saving, healthy eating, personal & school safety, entrepreneurship, self-esteem & image, leadership and more.

The day is open to girls ages 10 – 18 years old.

Registration is full! But volunteers are needed for the Reverse Job Shadow component. More info and sign up to participate in Reverse Job Shadow is here.

July 21, 2016
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Inc. (JaxPAL)
3450 Monument Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Sabrina Kinslow
JA Girl$ Program Manager
904-398-9944 ext. 225;

Day of the Girl provides girls with a holistic, girl-centered approach to the Junior Achievement concepts of financial literacy, entrepreneurship and career readiness.

Each workshop will encourage and inspire girls to make decisions now, to help ensure a brighter future. The day will also feature a career fair and will provide a healthy morning snack and lunch.

Day of the Girl shares the vision and mission already in place for JA Girl$:

To inspire girls and young women to open their minds to new opportunities, understand the power of their choices, and reach high to achieve their full economic potential.

To prepare girls and young women for economic success by providing hands-on experiences and educational opportunities that honor, value and celebrate the female perspective, experiences and unique development.

Learn more about JA Girl$.

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Congratulations to partner, Duval County Public Schools

Congratulations to our partner, Duval County Public Schools!

Jacksonville Business Journal Innovators In Education Award

Duval County Public schools received an Innovators In Education award for their partnership with Junior Achievement.

Helping to shape the educational landscape on the First Coast is vital for the business community, and efforts to improve the education sector and helping students pays off across the region.

The District Administrators and DCPS were honored by the Jacksonville Business Journal as an Innovator in Education Award Recipient for the DAILY Initiative (District Administrators Investing in the Lives of Youth) in partnership with Junior Achievement.

Innovators in Education in Northeast Florida recognizes those who have improved the education sector and/or positively impacted the lives of learners, young and old.

More than 3,600 students were taught JA programs this school year because of the DAILY Initiative.

Junior Achievement of North Florida Director of Special Initiatives

Teresa Smith, JA’s Director of Special Initiatives – she works hard to coordinate the JA programs and District Administrators in classrooms across Duval County.

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