Junior Achievement’s middle school programs build on concepts students learned in JA elementary school programs and prepare teens to make difficult decisions about how to best prepare for their future. These programs supplement standard social studies curricula and help students develop communication and critical thinking skills essential for future educational and career success. All programs are offered at no cost to schools.
JA Finance Park®, presented by Transamerica
JA Finance Park is an innovative financial literacy simulation that introduces young people to personal financial planning and career exploration. The JA Finance Park experience begins with teacher-led curriculum, culminating in a visit to JA Finance Park where students participate in a reality-based decision-making simulation addressing aspects of individual and family budgeting, including housing, transportation, food, utilities, healthcare, philanthropy, and banking. A virtual version of the simulation is also available. Key Concepts: Future Planning, Income, Taxes, Careers, Saving, Investment, Risk Management, Benefits, Opportunity Cost, Risk, Interest, Banking, Credit and Debit, Credit Score and Reports, Debt, Loans, Payment Methods, Identity Theft, Budgeting, Needs and Wants
“This entire program gives students the basic skills they will need day-to-day. They have learned about budgeting, using a credit card wisely, and the reality of being an adult. Seeing their reactions is eye-opening. Our students don’t learn this at home and this is the first and maybe only time they will get this.” – Laura Platt, Fort Logan Northgate
JA Economics for Success®
JA Economics for Success introduces students to initial work and career readiness concepts. Students explore career interests and opportunities. They learn about planning for a career, including the importance of self-awareness to guide choices, relevant post high school education to enable those choices, and sufficient income to pay for their wants and needs. Students recognize and develop transferable skills.
JA Global Marketplace®
JA Global Marketplace introduces middle school students to the global marketplace and the ways in which countries buy and sell from each other. Through completion of this program, students gain an understanding of producers and consumers in the interconnected global market. Requires use of classroom technology. Key Concepts: Global Trade, Culture, Business Etiquette, Business Expansion, Consumers, Specialization, Trade Barriers, Currency, Global Workforce
JA It’s My Future®
JA It’s My Future provides practical information about preparing for the working world while still in middle school. Following participation in the program, students will be able to explore potential careers and develop personal branding. Key Concepts: Brand, Personal Brand, Career Clusters, High-Growth Careers, Career Mapping, Soft Skills, Transferable Skills, Job Hunting, Job Applications, Professional References
JA It’s My Business® (Available in Northern Colorado & Wyoming only)
JA It’s My Business provides students the opportunity to learn how to turn an idea into a business. The program introduces students to the process of design thinking as a problem-solving process and provides an authentic entrepreneurial experience for students, with each session building toward a product pitch competition. Key Concepts: Business, Consumer Feedback, Design, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial Characteristics, Funding, Innovation, Investor, Market Research, Pitch, Product, Product Sketches, Prototype, Speaking Skills, Surveys, Target Market, Team Player
JA Start It Up
JA Start It Up immerses students in the world of business by challenging them to develop a proposal for a new flavor concept of Oogie’s Gourmet Popcorn, targeted for a market of their peers. Students work together in teams to practice entrepreneurial thinking and experience the creativity, sense of accomplishment and excitement that comes with solving a real-world business challenge.