For more than 100 years, Junior Achievement (JA) has inspired and prepared young people to own their economic success. Millions of students have experienced the power of a volunteer role model guiding them through learning experiences that prepare them to manage a budget, start a business, and pursue a career. To ensure our programs remain current, high quality, and relevant to teachers and students, we employ a variety of evaluation methods, including national alumni studies conducted by Junior Achievement USA (JA USA).
We’re thrilled to share JA USA employed Ipsos, one of the world’s leading market research firms to conduct its fifth alumni study in 2022, and the results continue to affirm JA Alumni view their JA experience as an overwhelmingly positive force in contributing to the trajectory of both their personal and professional lives. Right now, the Great Resignation is affecting our country in a profound way. There are many reasons individuals are leaving their jobs. They report not having an opportunity to advance, increase their income, general career dissatisfaction, and/or feeling a lack of purpose. Highlights from the most recent study, outlined below, indicate that individuals who have participated in JA as a student are not experiencing the same feelings about their jobs, and are much more likely to be realizing professional and personal success.
74% of JA alumni report being homeowners, compared to 66% of the general population.
JA alumni are improving their economic circumstance–one-third of JA Alumni describe their current household as high income (31%), whereas just 18% say they came from high-income families as children. Most JA Alumni report they came from middle-income families as children (64%), and 16% say they came from lower-income families as children. Currently, just 8% describe their current household as lower income.
Career and Education Influence
More than half of JA alumni (56%) say they are currently in a career or job, or have worked in a similar position, to the one their JA volunteer had.
The majority of JA Alumni report that JA positively influenced their decision to pursue higher education (84%), their professional development (84%), and their career path (81%).
88% of JA alumni say their experience with JA made them think of new work opportunities or career paths.
More than a quarter of JA Alumni (27%) say JA positively influenced their decision to start or run a business. More than half of JA Alumni report that they have started or owned a business (or multiple businesses) at least once in their life (51%).
These results are a powerful testament to the long-term impact JA is making on individuals, our community, and our country. But, one look at the headlines and current societal trends remind us we still have a lot of work to do. For every JA alumnus who is thriving in a meaningful career and building wealth for themselves and their family, there are many who never had the opportunity to participate in these life-changing programs and now find themselves unfulfilled in their work and lacking the tools and resources to financially support themselves. We’re committed to doing more to fulfill our vital mission in the future.
As part of that commitment, JA-Rocky Mountain is building the JA Free Enterprise Center that will house a second JA Finance Park, and an all new immersive, career discovery experience, the JA Dream Accelerator, which will provide inspiration, tools and next steps toward a career for thousands of local high school students. Additionally, this facility will be a hub for collaboration that will enable us to provide learning experiences that match the unique interests of local students and the needs of our community.
To get involved and encourage young people to build a bright future, visit HERE.