If you believe in their future, so will they.

Our economic future is uncertain.

  • Colorado will only educate 50% of the workers needed to fill the high-skill, high wage jobs it creates between 2008 and 2018.
  • More than two thirds of parents feel less prepared to give financial guidance than they do talking about the “birds and bees.”
  • 74% of young people identified risk and the possibility of failure as deterrents to launching their own business ventures.

What is certain is that Junior Achievement students are better prepared to succeed – and create their own futures.

We know this because, when asked if being a JA student positively affected their future, 92 percent of JA graduates responded with a resounding “yes!” Our alumni are more than twice as confident that they can successfully compete in a business environment, compared to adults without JA experience.

To ensure that we continue to build upon this legacy, JA measures and reports the impact of our programs on students’ knowledge and attitudes. This year, to further evaluate the impact of JA, we contracted a third-party evaluator to measure JA students’ understanding of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. We learned that:

  • JA students are more confident in their ability to manage and control their finances.
  • JA programs help students gain the skills employers need to thrive in today’s economy.
  • JA students embody an entrepreneurial spirit and understand how to leverage resources to launch a business.

Perhaps the most important finding is that JA students are more optimistic about achieving future success. Optimism is the underpinning of advancement – not just material advancement – but also societal advancement and the enrichment of our neighborhoods and schools, our businesses and communities.

With looming college debt, complex retirement plans and a post-recession job market, we must continue to do everything possible to ensure that our students are prepared for the skilled jobs of tomorrow. We must also help young people who dream of creating opportunities for themselves and others build a foundation for success in an increasingly competitive global economy. Most of all, we must protect our country’s most important assets – the spirit of enterprise and possibility.

None of this is possible without our 6,000 volunteers who bring JA’s results-driven programs to life each year. We are confident that, by working together, we can help every student – no matter what his or her background – feel in control of their destiny.