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.

UNF Women In Business Society teach Junior Achievement lessons to Pre-K Students

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Members of University of North Florida’s Women In Business Society volunteered and taught Junior Achievement curriculum to kids at the UNF Child Development Research Center on April 17.

Six WBS members taught JA Ourselves to Pre-K students for a mini “JA in a Day,” teaching two out of the five lessons from the program.

The WBS volunteers taught Session One, “Robbie’s Trip to the Farm” and Session Three, “Charlie Plants a Garden.”  Students were introduced to a storybook character and his visit to a family farm, and through a group discussion and by drawing pictures of their favorite animals, discovered that individuals make choices. In “Charlie Plants a Garden” the students learned how the storybook characters work together to plant a community garden, then followed up the activity with a visit to a real garden on-site at UNF.

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WBS volunteers reading “Robbie’s Trip to the Farm” during Session One of JA Ourselves, which teaches concepts of work, earning, reward, voluntary exchange and choices.

After reading about the farm animals in the story, students drew their favorite animals.

Students drew their favorite animals after reading about the farm animals in “Robbie’s Trip to the Farm.”

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Junior Achievement’s hands-on activities encourage discussion between the students and volunteers while reinforcing lesson concepts.

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The Women In Business Society is a student organization based in the UNF Coggin College of Business that is dedicated to supporting women in their efforts to pursue higher levels of educational and professional achievement.

In addition to lending their time teaching Junior Achievement in the classroom, WBS members help out every year with set-up and running the check-in table at our annual Smart Women Make Change event. We value their partnership and from everyone at JA, “Thank you, Women in Business Society!”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Junior Achievement, please visit jajax.com.

JA in a Day: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch @ St Clair Evans Academy

April 10, 2015 | Saint Clair Evans Academy

Nineteen Bank of America/Merrill Lynch volunteers taught Junior Achievement curriculum to students in Kindergarten through 5th grade, for a total of 388 students impacted!

TiNika Crimes 3rd_2

TiNika Crimes taught JA Our City to 3rd grade, introducing students to zoning and the importance of money to a city.

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JA Our City lets students build their own cities – complete with stand-up cardboard buildings they decorate and place on a giant floor map, in the correct zone.

Jessica 1st

In Junior Achievement’s 1st grade program, JA Our Families, one activity has 1st graders think about and write down what they need and want, and distinguish between the two.

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Jessica helps a students categorize whether his video games are a need or a want.

The contents of the volunteer's program kit for JA Our Families.

The contents of a program kit for JA Our Families.

Anthony Neufville 2nd

Volunteer Anthony Neufille taught JA Our Community, Junior Achievement’s 2nd grade program.

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Bank of America/Merrill Lynch volunteer Brittany Riordan taught 3rd graders about the role of taxes in a city.

Patrick-Henry Agustin 4th

Patrick-Henry Agustin taught Junior Achievement’s 4th grade program, JA Our Region. He showed students how resources are combined to create goods and services.

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Brandon Haye taught JA Our Community to Ms. Snipes’ 2nd grade class, in which students developed a sense of career awareness and learned how all jobs help a community.

Brandon Haye 2nd

During lesson two of JA Our Community, “Sweet ‘O’ Donuts”, students learn about production, goods and services when they make paper donuts in their donut shop. Brandon went the extra mile and brought real donuts for his students during the activity.

To learn more about JA in a Day, please visit our website.

High school Seniors face real-world budgeting scenarios


JA Finance Park Virtual  is wrapping up in 20 Duval County Public Schools. More than 5,000 high school Seniors are now better prepared to own their economic success!

This was the first school year the curriculum was rolled out county-wide. 41 Economics teachers led the curriculum in their classrooms and more than 50 individual volunteers gave their time and expertise going into the classroom and sharing lessons in budgeting and personal finance.

Students navigate their way through the virtual Park, complete with their own avatar they design themselves.

Students navigate their way through the virtual Park, complete with their own avatar they design themselves.

They must visit each "store" in the virtual Park, and decide how each product or service fits into their budget.

They must visit each “store” in the Park, and decide how each product or service fits into their budget.

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The simulation will not let students move forward if they do not budget correctly within their given means. Students learn quickly that the $50,000 car they thought they wanted, or dining out every night, might not be the most economical choices!

As we prepare for the 2015-2016 school year, we invite you to join us in the classroom. Contact Teresa Smith at 398-9944 ext.227 or email teresa@jajax.com and find out how you can get involved!

Sponsorships are available for storefronts in the virtual Park. Students see sponsoring company logos placed on stores throughout the Park and on budgeting worksheets when they enter each “store.” Contact Steve St. Amand for details at 398-9944 ext.228 or email jajaxsteve@hotmail.com.

Click here to learn more about JA Finance Park Virtual and to see the Park in action!

Junior Achievement’s Company Program teaches lessons in entrepreneurship


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.


“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.

JA Students visit Microsoft Store in Jacksonville

Sandalwood High School students visited the Microsoft Store at St. Johns Town Center as part of JA Job Shadow.

They interacted with store employees, got a tour of the store and learned about Microsoft as a corporation.

Students received job advice that applies no matter what career field they choose, such as the importance of communication and team work.

Check out their experience!

Why does JA Matter to you?


Do you remember a JA volunteer who changed your life? Any special memory of other JA students? What life lessons did you learn from JA, and what are you doing now? Why does JA Matter to today’s young people? Your story is important to us.

Share your story before Sunday, Jan. 31, 2015, and you will be entered into our drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card!

>>Click here for details and to enter.

Middle school students sit down and chat with area professionals during JA’s “Reverse Job Shadow”

dec18 job shadowJacksonville area professionals met with students at Ft. Caroline Middle School today for Junior Achievement’s “Reverse Job Shadow.”

Students were split into groups and sat down with each adult, asking questions and writing down answers to pertaining to their jobs. Students switched tables after seven minutes were up.

The following professionals shared their job-related knowledge with students:

Jonathan Bishop– Junior Achievement’s JA Boy$ program
Melanie Black– Student Futures
James Daniel– engineer
Andre Gaulard– retired chiropractor
Ron Little– Florida Department of Transportation
Angela Spears– City of Jacksonville
Deb Thrift– Mary Kay
Brad Williams– Dell

Are you a professional who would like to share your expertise and experience with students? Visit our website or contact Tiffany Mackey (904-398-9944 ext.230 / tiffany@jajax.com) today and learn how you can become involved!

At JA’s Career Day 8th Grade Students face the question ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’


More than 200 eighth grade students at Dupont Middle School participated in a Career Day on February 14 organized by Rotary Club of Mandarin and Junior Achievement. Twenty adults from an array of professions answered questions and gave advice during the “reverse-job shadow” format.

“We really encourage students to think about what they want to do, such as planning which electives to take in high school that will support their career interests,” said eighth grade history teacher Lynn Mickler. “This is perfect because it gives them a firsthand idea of salaries and education needed.” She added, “Kids who are less than interested in school are taking notes, writing everything down, really getting into it…the hands-on aspect of it is really great.”

Rose Marie Preddy is a member of the Mandarin Rotary and helped organize this event that will benefit the entire eighth grade at Dupont. She explained there is a good sampling of different career paths including entrepreneurs, technical jobs which require no college degree, professional careers and even dream jobs: WJXT Channel 4’s Staci Spanos was present to talk about being a news anchor and the Oakland Athletics’ John Wasdin answered questions about what it takes to be a Major League Baseball player.

According to Daniel Locke, an entrepreneur who started a roofing company, he wanted students to understand that quality service will get them far if they’re interested in starting a company in the service industry. “In the service industry, you don’t have to be smart—you just have to be better than everyone else” he said. “If one kid gets what I’m saying, that makes it worth it.”

Junior Achievement aims to excite students to dream big and reach their potential. Students gained inspiration after interviewing the various professionals—police officer, architect, public relations, nurse, prosecutor, sales, author, banker and construction are just a sample of careers they had to explore.

When asked if this day helped him decide what he wants to do as a potential career, Benjamin, an 8th grade student replied, “Yes; It showed me how important of a decision it is to decide what I want to do in my life. The baseball player told me that grades are important—good grades will get you far!”








Interested in sharing your career experience with young people? Junior Achievement needs people like you to volunteer! Contact Tiffany Mackey at 904-398-9944 ext. 230 or email Tiffany@jajax.com.

Junior Achievement receives Starbucks Foundation grant


The Starbucks Foundation has awarded Junior Achievement of North Florida a Youth Leadership Grant in the amount of $10,000. This grant will support the JA Work$ program which provides high school students with work-related training and on-the-job experience.

“It is our goal to equip these students with work readiness skills to be become productive citizens,” said VP of Programs Tiffany Mackey.

More than 100 high school students will participate. These students will be recruited from Title I schools that are located in underserved communities. Students will also be recruited from our own JA Boy$ program which focuses on bringing financial literacy, workforce preparation and entrepreneurship programs to underprivileged boys and young men on Jacksonville’s Northside and Westside.


As with all JA initiatives, trained volunteers will facilitate the program. Volunteers will be recruited from local companies including Starbucks to teach two programs to JA Work$ students: JA Career Success and JA Personal Finance.

Armed with the knowledge imparted by these programs, JA Work$ participants will be provided a “job”: teaching Junior Achievement classes to nearly 1,000 elementary school students. Before they start, they will go through job application, resume and interview training under the guidance of volunteers. JA Work$ students will be provided a small stipend of $150 upon completion of their “job” and much like a real job, will be evaluated and receive feedback.

This workforce experience will help to eliminate the unknowns of job application and the workplace. Graduates of JA Work$ will understand what it takes to find and secure a job—a process that will no longer be foreign to these students.


“[JA Work$] is the perfect combination of taking theories learned in the classroom and applying them practically,” said JA Boy$ Program Manager Jonathan Bishop. “We want to give the student participants a peek into the real-world and what it takes to succeed.”