JA of North Florida’s December Newsletter is Out!

JA of North Florida’s latest newsletter, the December Edition, landed in inboxes today.

Inside you’ll find:

  • A Bank of America grant that will benefit middle school students in Duval County
  • The JA Hall of Fame in March 2017
  • What’s happening at the JA Financial Literacy Center in New Town
  • The difference that employees from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and PwC are making in the lives of youth through “JA in a Day”
  • The 2017 JA North Florida Golf Classic
  • Volunteer opportunities in North Florida
  • How you can help Junior Achievement inspire young people!

See the entire newsletter here!


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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.

Student reach newsletter hours per student

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.

Junior Achievement enriches summer camp at Seamark Ranch

Junior Achievement JA Ourselves

Kids at Seamark Ranch got to experience the fun, hands-on lessons of JA Ourselves® during their time at summer camp.

Seamark Ranch’s 468-acre campus in North Florida includes a farm that gives kids the chance to cultivate and grow their food, and reap the benefits of hard work.

Seamark Ranch used JA Ourselves during their summer camp. “The groups seemed very appreciative of the materials,” said Carleen Haney, Community Relations Coordinator, Seamark Ranch.

Session One’s story, “Robbie’s Trip to the Farm” tied in perfectly with their experience at Seamark Ranch’s farm. The story introduced a character they could all relate to; the kids saw Robbie planting vegetables, feeding the farm animals and eating what is grown.

This is Seamark Ranch’s first year using Junior Achievement as enrichment to their summer camp. Through JA Ourselves, kids learned about the economic role of individuals and the program’s hands-on activities taught them about helping, working, earning and saving money.

Junior Achievement JA Ourselves

Junior Achievement JA Ourselves

Junior Achievement JA Ourselves

To learn more about Junior Achievement’s programs in the Northeast Florida region and to become involved, please visit www.JAjax.com.

Volunteer Profile: Ruth Wright

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

Volunteer: Ruth Wright

Junior Achievement volunteer

Ruth WrightRuth Wright, PwC, has been volunteering with Junior Achievement for the past 8 years in Tampa and Jacksonville and is an example of someone who goes above and beyond to support JA’s mission.

This past spring, the date for PwC’s “JA in a Day” at Pickett Elementary just so happened to fall during her planned Hawaiian vacation. Despite being thousands of miles away on an island in the Pacific, she carried out her volunteer coordinator duties.

Melissa Daniel, JA Program Director, remembers telling Ruth to “Stop working!” as Ruth coordinated the JA in a Day from Hawaii. Ruth even checked in via text messages the day-of to see how it was going and made sure all volunteers were accounted for.

On the occasion we are short a classroom volunteer, she has volunteered the night before to fill in the scheduled JA class. Ruth has participated in our JA Reverse Job Shadow event and she is currently coordinating a PwC team for our Florida vs. Georgia-themed Fall Bowl-A-Thon.

Ruth was selected to participate in PwC’s Project Belize later this month where she’ll teach financial literacy at schools in Belize City. “I am beyond thrilled!” she exclaimed of the opportunity to impact more youth.

Junior Achievement Volunteer

Junior Achievement: Why did you want to get involved with JA?

Ruth Wright: I love what JA does. There are so many youth who do not have the opportunities to receive basic financial literacy skills that can improve their lives tenfold. I really was drawn to the stories I heard from youth being successful coming out of the programs. I also love working with kids, so that helps!

What is your favorite part about volunteering?

I am always amazed at the kids’ reaction and willingness to learn and am truly humbled by the experience. I also feel that JA makes a difference in their lives, and am honored to be a part of this process.

Seeing kids remember topics covered from prior year’s lessons reinforces that the program does work. It is hard to really think of just one memorable moment, as there have been so many, but one of my favorite things is feeling the unconditional love the children give to me when I come and go.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting their company to participate in “JA in a Day”?

It is a truly rewarding experience! Even just one person going into the classroom makes a difference!

Junior Achievement Volunteer

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Junior Achievement volunteer

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

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.

Recap: 2015 JA Hall of Fame honoring Baptist Health CEO, Hugh Greene

Approximately 400 people attended our annual Hall of Fame luncheon held Feb. 20 at University of North Florida’s University Center.

The support of this great community was positively felt throughout the room as we reflected on the past year and discussed our future initiatives, and honored the supporters and volunteers who make what we do possible.

Receiving the 17th Annual Thompson S. Baker Award was Hugh Greene, President & CEO, Baptist Health. The Baker award is given to an individual in the community who has demonstrated excellence in business, educational and philanthropic involvement.

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Inducted into the JA Hall of Fame was Don Cameron, PwC, and Jennifer Chapman, Fidelity Investments (pictured below).

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Congratulations to our top 3 volunteer companies!
1. BBVA Compass
2. Florida Blue
3. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Click below to view the entire photo gallery on our Facebook page:

2015 HOF View Photos

Junior Achievement Receives $7,000 State Farm Grant towards High School Workforce Preparation

State Farm Logo

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.

2013 THE PLAYERS Championship generates $7.1 million for Northeast FL charities

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 14: Giving Back Month: THE PLAYERS 2013 Charity Announcement at TPC Sawgrass Presentation Lawn with PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and the tournament volunteer leadership on November 14, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – NOVEMBER 14: Giving Back Month: THE PLAYERS 2013 Charity Announcement at TPC Sawgrass Presentation Lawn with PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and the tournament volunteer leadership on November 14, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jennifer Perez/PGA TOUR)

At a celebration honoring the volunteer leadership of THE PLAYERS Championship and the tournament’s Giving Back Month, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that $7.1 million was generated for local charities from the 2013 event, eclipsing last year’s record-breaking total of $6.5 million.

The money generated by THE PLAYERS each year benefits more than 300 charities throughout Northeast Florida, totaling nearly $60 million in charitable giving since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977.

The substantial increases over the past few years is attributed to a growing, dedicated fan base, support from PwC – the event’s Proud Partner, the tireless and selfless efforts of the tournament’s volunteer force and the entire Northeast Florida community.

Guests at the Volunteer Leadership Appreciation Party cheered as a 35-foot banner bearing the $7.1 million news was unfurled from the TPC Sawgrass upper balcony when Finchem made the announcement.