Junior Achievement of Chicago-DuPage prepares kids for solid financial futures
Have you ever made a budget or invested in the stock market and wished someone had explained to you how it all worked when you were younger? Enter Junior Achievement of Chicago-DuPage (JA), a nonprofit that helps prepare youth to thrive as adults by teaching them financial literacy, workforce readiness, how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace and how to build businesses that support their communities.
"Students don't get this education when normally going through school. We are here to fill that gap," said Bill Werner, associate director of Junior Achievement of Chicago-DuPage.
In 2019, Junior Achievement of Chicago-DuPage serviced over 80,000 students in 4,182 elementary, middle and high school classrooms. This year, over 620,000 students in the Chicago area will experience JA of Chicago programs. Local business owners, corporate partner volunteers and community volunteers head to participating schools to teach weekly traditional programs, JA in a Day programs and Career Day programs that teach children the skills they need for economic success, to plan for their future and apply what they're learning in school to real life business challenges and opportunities.
JA programs are free to schools and students. JA relies on generous donors and corporate partners to deliver curriculum. Gerald Auto Group regularly sponsors the DuPage Board of Directors Fundraiser that benefits over 80,000 JA students and operations in DuPage County. This year's Jazz Night will be held on March 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club and will bring together over 200 DuPage County professionals, educators, JA students and JA corporate and community volunteers.
Werner is looking forward to another year of delivering JA programming in DuPage County. He said JA is always looking for business professionals, new corporate business partners and community volunteers to go into the classrooms and deliver the curriculum and encourages those interested to get involved.
"It's not the just about the material we deliver," said Werner. "The special sauce is our volunteers going to the classroom to talk about their journeys, their careers and their real world experiences."
For more on Junior Achievement of Chicago-DuPage, visit www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-chicago/dupage-county.