Junior Achievement to celebrate 100 years

Local Junior Achievement sets centennial events

GIRARD — Junior Achievement will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year with several events planned throughout 2019 as part of the centennial.

JA was started in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts by Strathmore Paper Founder Horace Moses, AT&T Chairman Theodore Vail and U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Murray Crane.

JA’s founding was in response to families moving from farms to the growing industrial cities. The goal was to provide young people with the skills they would need to be successful adults in their new communities.

Kim Urig, program and special events coordinator for Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley in Girard, said the local JA will be planning events for the area.

“JA will have all sorts of amazing opportunities this year. We will have a number of special events, as well,” Urig said, noting the agency serves more than 13,000 students each school year.

Locally, Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley has been in the community since 1952.

“Very few organizations make it to 100 years, much less continue to grow and thrive like Junior Achievement has,” said President Michele Merkel.

“We are taking this opportunity to celebrate and honor what’s come before, but also look toward the future as we work to inspire and prepare our young people to succeed in our ever-changing world,” Merkel said.

During the past 100 years, JA has evolved from an organization operating primarily in the northeastern United States and teaching teens how to start a business into a multinational organization reaching more than 10 million students in 100 countries with programs that promote entrepreneurship, career and work readiness and financial literacy.

In the United States, JA reaches nearly 5 million students in grades K-12.

Events being planned include:

• In January the 100 Percent Read awareness campaign will be kicked off.

• In February, a JA documentary will be available on PBS.

• In March, JA will be ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

• In September, there will be a Junior Achievement Day at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) in Springfield, Massachusetts, where JA was started.

Locally, Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley received platinum recognition from GuideStar USA and the 2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit award from Great Nonprofits.

Urig said JAMV will have an exhibit at the Tyler History Center to coincide with receiving the JA USA Time Capsule. JA alumni are encouraged to loan or donate historical JA items for both the exhibit and the time capsule.

The JA Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser theme will be “All that JAzz” to commemorate 100 years of both jazz music and JA. Ballet teams are encouraged to dress in jazz-era clothing and celebrate the timelessness of both Junior Achievement and jazz. Bowl-A-Thon dates are February 9 at Wedgewood Lanes and May 7 at Camelot Lanes.

To participate in any of the centennial events or for more information, contact Urig at the 330-539-5268.

Urig said Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley reached 13,671 students in 631 classrooms during the 2017-2018 school year.

She said over 546 individuals volunteered their time in the classroom.

“These passionate volunteers, investors, educators, and local leaders are individuals who care enough to make a difference in a child’s life through the enrichment with the JA experience. For many children, experiencing JA is seeing an activity and visualizing a future where their dreams can become reality.” she said.

JA is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.