JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT GIVES MIAMI’S MIDDLE SCHOOLERS REAL-WORLD CAREER EXPLORATION IN A VIRTUAL SETTING
Director of Communications
VP of Corporate Engagement
Miami, FL (November 15, 2021) – As the world races towards “normalcy,” nonprofits and youth service providers, like Junior Achievement of Greater Miami, Inc. (JA Miami), are being faced with choosing which pandemic-era measures, like virtual programming, should remain in the long-term. One such program is JA Inspire, a dynamic career exploration program for middle schoolers which includes in-class lessons and culminates with a capstone Career Expo, where students can explore local high-wage/high-demand career pathways they find interesting. Highlights of the program include:
- Downloadable career information, videos, and steps to take to pursue various careers in different high-wage/high-demand industries; includes access and instructions to the free JA Build Your Future app
- Educators, students, and parents/caregivers can access the online portal and JA Inspire Student Guide any time, from the comfort and safety of home
- JA Inspire is available at no cost to school systems or youth-serving community-based organizations and is also adaptable for in-class or remote learning
JA Inspire launched in 2019 as an in-school program beginning with teacher-led classroom sessions, followed by the capstone event; a field trip held at the Miami Airport Convention where local businesses set up hands-on activities to show students what it’s like to work a day on the job in several different high-wage/high-demand industries. In 2020, JA Inspire was swiftly re-designed by Junior Achievement to be implemented 100% virtually, including new digital program materials and a new virtual capstone event experience.
On November 16, 2021, JA Inspire will officially kick off, remaining open to students through June 2022. Junior Achievement is expecting 11,000 students to access the program during the current school year.
“This is an important program because it helps children really picture themselves as working adults. They can start to consider which classes to sign up for in high school, and all of this will help them move confidently towards high school graduation, and eventual employment,” said Catherine Haga, President of Junior Achievement of Greater Miami, Inc. “Thanks to the online format, students have a one-stop shop where they can learn about different career and education pathways available throughout South Florida.”
JA Miami estimates that around 75% of the local students participating in JA Inspire are currently living at or below the national poverty level. About 86% of the total students served by Junior Achievement in Miami are a part of this at-risk, yet highly promising, group. Thanks to dedicated community support, JA Inspire gives these children access to role models through video testimonials in the online career expo, showing students a myriad of career paths which they may not have been aware of otherwise. The goal is to help launch middle school students into their futures: high school, college, and careers beyond.
“Now more than ever, students need instruction in the ‘business of life,’ including how to plan and prepare for a career, and exposure to local professionals who can serve as role models,” said Troy Templeton, Managing Partner at Trivest Partners and Chairman of the Board at Junior Achievement of Greater Miami.
This year’s sponsors include Bank of America, CareerSource South Florida, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, gFour Marketing, The Kirk Foundation, PortMiami, SAP, Southern Glazer’s, Trivest, Truist, Wells Fargo, and more!
About Junior Achievement
Founded nationally in 1919 and locally in 1957, Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Thanks to the dedication of over 1,600 local volunteers, Junior Achievement serves 33,000 children in Miami each year. For more information, visit www.jamiami.org.
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