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.

Southside Middle teens learned important workforce skills at AT&T’s Aspire Mentoring Academy

Junior Achievement of North Florida collaborated with AT&T to provide mentoring to students at-risk of dropping out of school.

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On March 5, twenty-six Southside Middle School students participated in JA Job Shadow with AT&T employees as part of Aspire Mentoring Academy. The event took place at the company’s Southside location in Jacksonville.

The students interacted with employees from different areas of the company ranging from regional managers to engineering and construction.

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“We work with AMA [Aspire Mentoring Academy] to help young people like you see the many types of jobs out there and the opportunities available to you,” said Chris Jamke, a regional manager who explained that he has worked his way up in the company during the past 15 years.

The AT&T employees offered advice such as “you create your own destiny,” and stressed the importance of getting a degree, making the right choices and surrounding yourself with the right people.

They encouraged the students to learn as much as they can in school and work toward their dreams.

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Providing young people with real-world learning experiences can be key to improving U.S. high school graduation rates. Currently, 1 in 5 students do not graduate with their class on time. One in three young people overall (34 percent) and even more at-risk youth (37 percent) report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (naturally occurring or structured) while they were growing up. (Source: See below)

Through this partnership with AT&T, Junior Achievement is targeting Title I schools, or schools with graduation rates of 70 percent or lower, focusing on at-risk populations.

“This group of students are free/reduced lunch and have poor attendance issues,” said Southside Middle School counselor, Tiera Thomas.
“I truly enjoyed taking the kids out of their element and exposing them to something new. They have received information on career opportunities offered at AT&T. They have heard that goals must be set, education must be taken serious, and always dream BIG.”

Source: “The Mentoring Effect” http://www.mentoring.org/mentoringeffect/fact_sheet/

January is National Mentoring Month

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JA volunteers act as mentors for students, helping them make a connection between what they learn in school and what they will need to succeed in work and life.

Our mentors are at the heart of the JA experience: they take a message of opportunity and boundless potential to classrooms in their community and share their life stories, encouraging students to reach their full potential.

Become a JA volunteer today. Many opportunities are available! Call us at 904-398-9944 or email Tiffany Mackey at tiffany@jajax.com.