Founded on the three pillars of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, Junior Achievement is dedicated to enabling young people to own their personal economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices.
Over the years, Junior Achievement of Southwest New England (JA), a branch of Junior Achievement USA, has developed robust programming that has been integrated through New Britain Consolidated School District, allowing it to serve more than 5,500 New Britain youth each year. JA recruits and trains volunteers from local businesses and the community, who facilitate age-appropriate curricula both in and out of the classroom. In-school programming takes place throughout the school year at 15 New Britain elementary and middle schools, as well as New Britain High School. JA also partners with local after-school programs such as the YWCA STRIVE program to make an even bigger impact.
Junior Achievement specialty programs give youth a richer experience in the core areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. JA offers several enrichment programs at New Britain High School such as job shadow opportunities at business such as Pratt & Whitney and Microsoft. JA staff also works closely with NBHS’s work-based learning team to support the school’s yearly job fair, evaluate Academy of Finance student presentations, provide resume guidance, and offer mock job interviews.
Junior Achievement’s “Company Program” has been incorporated into New Britain High School teacher Marc Wesoly’s Entrepreneurship course. In this class, youth are challenged to conceptualize, produce and sell a product. Employees from ESPN help Mr. Wesoly by bringing first-had business expertise to the class. JA also runs an Entrepreneurial Academy in partnership with Stanley Black and Decker, where young entrepreneurs work to develop a winning product idea, which will then complete against other students’ projects from across the nation.
The relationship between Junior Achievement of Southwest New England and the New Britain community makes New Britain one of its highest impact communities in the region. This non-profit organization provides thousands of New Britain’s youth the opportunity to develop into independent, and successful adults, who will in turn help grow the local economy for a brighter future for us all.