Junior Achievement Learning Experiences support Chautauqua County students during a challenging year

(Williamsville, NY) – From the start of the pandemic, JA USA worked diligently to transform our learning experiences to a digital platform. Since then, not only was that achieved but program offerings have doubled. Junior Achievement of Western New York continues to provide flexible options for volunteers and educators. Ultimately the goal was to make JA accessible to all students regardless of their ever-changing learning environments during this past challenging school year.  With the generous support from our Chautauqua County Area funders, Junior Achievement Learning Experiences reached 942 students in Chautauqua County in the 2020-2021 school year. Generous funding support came from Holmberg Foundation, The Lenna Foundation, Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, United Way of Northern Chautauqua County, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and Blackstone Advanced Technologies LLC.  Our school district partners include: Falconer, Fredonia, Frewsburg, Jamestown, Sherman and Westfield.

The local community continues to provide the volunteers necessary to support JA’s unique delivery model.  Volunteer partner organizations include: Cummins, Falconer Central School District, Flatback Technologies, HSBC Bank, Jamestown Community College, Jamestown Community Learning Council, M&T Bank, Media One Radio Group, Merrill Lynch, Monofrax, Sherman School, SUNY Fredonia, The Resource Center and Wells Fargo.

Junior Achievement is committed to Chautauqua County as a solution provider in meeting the education needs of area students as it relates to JA’s three pathways:  Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Work and Career Readiness. A 2020 National survey of JA Alumni indicated:

  • 4 out of 5 Alumni report Junior Achievement played an important role in their decision to pursue further education
  • 51% of JA Alumni say they have worked in the same job or career as their volunteer.
  • 4 out of 5 Alumni report Junior Achievement played an important role in choosing their career path.
  • 96 % of Black alumni, 95 % of Hispanic alumni, and 93 % of white alumni say JA positively impacted their future choices and perceptions.
  • 60 % of Hispanic alumni, 52 % of  Black alumni, and 51 % of white alumni have started one or more businesses during their careers.
  • 4 out of 5 Alumni report Junior Achievement played an important role in their belief they could achieve their goals.

Laurie Mahoney, President of JA of WNY says, “Junior Achievement is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the skills and experiences that prepare them for future economic success.  JA’s Digital First education platform and virtual volunteer delivery model allowed JAWNY to reach students wherever learning was taking place this past year.  The mentoring support provided by volunteers was critical to helping students make the connection between what they are learning in school and how it translates into the “real” world of work”.  The strong and continued partnership between Junior Achievement, Chautauqua county schools, businesses, community volunteers and funders provided the foundation needed to serve your students during this challenging year”.  

The work of Junior Achievement continues as the new school year begins. To join the ranks of Chautauqua County schools and volunteers who are sharing their time and talent to inspire and prepare the next generation, contact Rebecca Johnson at rjohnson@jawny.org. For more information about Junior Achievement, visit us at www.jawny.org.  JA provides the materials and training. You provide the time. It’s easy for you, life-changing for them. 

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