For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2010
TEN JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT
OPERATIONS WIN INTERNATIONAL AWARDS FOR INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
MetLife Foundation and Junior
Achievement Celebrate Decade of Innovation through 10th Annual Entrepreneurial
— At Junior Achievement USA's (JA's) recent National Leadership
Conference, 10 JA operations were each presented with a 2010 MetLife Foundation
Entrepreneurial Award and a $25,000 grant for demonstrating outstanding
innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Junior Achievement and MetLife Foundation
have teamed up for the past 10 years to honor the exemplary practice of these
two key JA concepts at the local office level and to provide funds to expand
"MetLife Foundation and JA share a commitment to preparing young people to
succeed in the global economy," said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife
Foundation. "We are pleased to support JA's exemplary work in putting young
people on the path to success."
Eight JA offices worldwide -- five U.S. and three international offices --
each received a $25,000 grant from MetLife Foundation for demonstrating the
entrepreneurial spirit and delivering innovation in current JA programs.
The winning programs are:
Junior Achievement of Arizona, "You're Hired"
This initiative coupled Junior Achievement's work-readiness curricula with
real-life opportunities for students to practice the skills they had learned.
Students had the opportunity to hone their job-interview skills and to develop
their writing, language, math, and critical thinking skills in a relevant
context. In addition, students learned the relevance of their class work to
real life and participated in meaningful work experiences.
Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, "STEM Career
This event introduces local students to leading local employers, illustrating
the career opportunities available in their home communities while inspiring
them to acquire the skills they need to be successful in these industries.
These students, in preparation for writing their high school career plans,
will have an opportunity to speak to real businesses about the skills and
attributes required to be a successful employee in today's workforce.
Junior Achievement of Northern California,
Some funders were hesitant to support JA of Northern California without
quantitative evaluation data on student impact of JA programs in their local
market. Leveraging a board relationship to implement the evaluation allowed JA
of Northern California to demonstrate the efficacy of JA programs. As a
result, the office generated seven percent of its operating budget in new
donations from corporations and foundations.
Junior Achievement of the Heartland, "Trade
JA of the Heartland worked with local businesses to provide students with
vocational training, with the notion that not all high-school graduates go on
to attend a college or university. The program aimed to strengthen
Heartland-area businesses by bolstering the work-readiness skills of its
future talent pool.
Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, "JAzz Night"
Area high school students marketed their bands' CDs using concepts learned
from JA Be EntrepreneurialTM, a Junior Achievement program
in which students start and run a real enterprise with the mentorship of a
volunteer from the local business community. The program provided band
students with enhanced business and work-readiness skills.
Junior Achievement Chile, "Innovative Solutions
JA Chile will leverage the intellectual capital of its students to devise
solutions to the devastation caused by the February 2010 earthquake in a
one-day intensive workshop. Teams of students will collaborate to solve
different challenges presented by the quake damage.
Junior Achievement Romania, "Online Innovation
Building on its successful Innovation Camp, in which teams of students
collaborate for more than 24 hours to devise solutions to business challenges,
JA Romania adapted the Camp to an online environment by leveraging web
Prestasi Junior Indonesia (PJI), "SLB Program for
the Hearing Disabled"
Working to address the stigma applied in Indonesian culture to the
hearing-impaired, PJI targeted this segment with specially adapted Junior
Achievement programs so they could have expanded access to career
opportunities and entrepreneurship education.
"The innovation and creativity that these JA operations have demonstrated
show that core JA concepts really do translate to the business world," said Sean
C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. "The winners of
this year's awards have proven that JA does indeed practice what it preaches in
terms of driving innovation in program delivery and business processes."
In addition, two special 10th Anniversary MetLife Foundation Awards, with a
$25,000 grant each, were presented to two previous recipients whose
award-winning initiatives have grown and had the greatest impact in their
communities and on their organizations. The two Anniversary Awards were
Junior Achievement of Georgia, "Hispanic
JA Georgia worked with Hispanic business leaders to deliver JA programs and
mentor Hispanic youth with a goal of countering significant high school
Junior Achievement of South Dakota, "Distance
Seeking to reduce the amount of staff time required to keep 21 local boards of
directors engaged and energized, JA South Dakota worked with the state to
leverage its distance learning network to conduct board meetings and volunteer
The MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award is a significant way to
recognize-and inspire-innovation across JA through funding those programs
exemplifying entrepreneurship. MetLife has been a JA partner since 1972 and also
supports JA at the local level through volunteer engagement and board
leadership. Building on its 91-year legacy, Junior Achievement continues to
deliver innovation and empower young people to own their future economic
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its
longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement.
Grants support health, education, civic and cultural programs. The Foundation
has supported JA programs since 1979. In addition to sponsoring the
Entrepreneurial Award since 2001, the Foundation has provided major funding for
development and implementation of JA Exploring EconomicsTM, a
program that teaches high school students fundamental economic concepts. For
more information about the Foundation, visit
About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring
and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated
volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school
programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness,
entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 126 individual area operations
reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional
5.7 million students served by operations in 122 other countries worldwide. For
more information, visit www.ja.org.
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