While the JA team serving Northern Colorado operates as part of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. (headquartered in Denver), we are responsible for generating our own revenue to carry us through our assigned divisional budget.
The project budget will show that the request for $5,000 would support 13 PSD classrooms or 300 students.
How Rotary Can Get Involved:
Rotary members can get directly involved in the classroom.
The "JA In A Day" may be the best fit: Some schools choose to devote an entire day to JA instruction. In this model, we seek out volunteers who are able to commit to teaching all sessions during the course of one school day.
JA provides volunteers with all of the training and materials they will need to be successful. We can train one-on-one, or in groups. All of the program materials are in one comprehensive program kit. Every lesson plan, game, activity, etc. is included in the bag. The activities are all hands-on and super fun for the kids.
Community Need: 60% of teens don't know the difference between cash, credit cards, and checks. 45% of teens are unsure or unprepared to manage their own finances. 22% of Colorado students don't graduate on time. The fastest growing age group filing for bankruptcy is young adults, ages 18-24. 49% of employers indicate that current talent shortages are impacting their ability to serve customers and clients. 91% of millennials wish they had greater access to entrepreneurial education. The Center for Financial Literacy gave Colorado a 'C' in their most recent report card on efforts to produce high school graduates with financial literacy skills.
JA's programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate income and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
Goals and Objectives: JA is committed to helping educators and students achieve their educational objectives as well as improving program effectiveness and implementation. The purpose of JA's programs is to empower youth to own their economic success. Students receiving JA programming will improve their attitudes towards school and discover ways to be self-reliant.
Financial Literacy: JA students are more financially responsible than their peers and know how to: create and manage a realistic budget; improve their credit scores; utilize credit and debt appropriately; and save to achieve lifelong goals.
Work Readiness: JA students are more prepared to enter the 21st century workplace than their peers and know how to: demonstrate communication, critical thinking, collaboration and innovative problem solving; exhibit professional behavior and strong work ethic; act ethically and with integrity; and apply their skills, talents and traits to high demand jobs.
Entrepreneurship: JA students are more innovative than their peers and know how to: leverage resources to start a business; operate a business; balance risk vs. reward; increase revenue and manage expenses to maximize profit; and think critically, solve problems, and overcome challenges.
1. Increase knowledge in the areas of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.
2. Improve attitudes about staying in school, preparing for work, and optimism for the future.
3. Provide volunteers with the opportunity to develop professional skills such as public speaking, working with culturally diverse groups, motivating individuals, and serving as role models.
Qualifications: JA is the only organization that provides sequential K-12 economic curriculum delivered by trained volunteers at no cost to schools. JA takes great pride in serving as one of the leaders in our field in providing data that helps inform our entire sector. We know from two recent studies and a 2016 survey that JA programs are effective and change the trajectory of a young person's life:
• JA students are 30% more likely to obtain a bachelor's degree and secure employment at higher rates than the general population.
• JA alumni earn 20% more than the general population and incur less debt than their peers.
• JA alumni are 2 ˝ times more likely to own or have had an ownership stake in a business than the general population.
• 92% of JA graduates say that being a JA student positively affected their future.
Ongoing: JA's programs are ongoing throughout the course of the school year.
Constituency: JA offers 25 unique experiential learning programs for all K-12 schools in Poudre School District—all of which are delivered by trained community volunteers. JA complements the hard work and dedication of educators by helping students make the connection between academics and professional success. At the conclusion of the 2017/2018 school year, JA implemented programming in 181 PSD classrooms, which impacted 4,237 students.
Community & Volunteer Involvement: JA partners with educators, school district administrators, and business and community leaders to ensure that we are meeting student and community needs, and not duplicating the efforts of any other education entities. JA's unique approach allows volunteers from the community to deliver our curricula while sharing their personal experiences with students. Embodying the heart of JA, our classroom volunteers transform the key concepts of our lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves. At the conclusion of the 2017/2018 school year, more than 780 volunteers from 140 area organizations volunteered in the classroom.
Evaluation: JA employs a full-time data coordinator responsible for managing the organization's evaluation efforts. We also partner with an external evaluator, QREM, to analyze our student impact. We utilize a variety of evaluation tools to ensure students are meeting behavior changes. These tools include assessments, opinion surveys, and observation reports. The data collected is coded, aggregated, and analyzed to reach statistically significant conclusions. Additionally, JA surveys educators and volunteers after each classroom experience to understand their perceptions of JA programming and its impact on students and the community.
Funding: JA is able to sustain all of our K-12 programs in PSD thanks to the support of our area funders and volunteers. At the conclusion of the 17/18 fiscal year, the JA regional office in Northern Colorado raised nearly $112,000 in corporate and foundation contributions. Program revenue through corporate sponsorships accounted for more than $50,000. More than $113,000 was raised through special fundraising events. Individual gifts accounted for more than $13,000. An additional $30,000 was designated as regional support from statewide donors. Finally, in-kind contributions accounted for more than $4,200. The JA regional office had three signature events: JA Stock Market Challenge, JA Bowl-A-Thon, and JA Grand Prix. JA programming in PSD will continue to benefit from the loyal support of our area community and corporate donors, as well as our dedicated volunteers.