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Junior Achievement

Beth O'Conner, VP of Programs for Junior Achievement of SE Michigan, was our speaker for today's program. She explained that through JA, young people discover what is possible in their lives, helping them to connect what they learn in school with life outside the classroom. JA does this by using the personal life experiences of volunteers in finance to teach financial literacy and careers in finance. Other volunteers teach about the use of credit cards, interest rates, and setting up a bank account. (Detroit ranks as the 5th unbanked society in the U.S.) Students learn how to fill out job applications and interview skills taught and practiced.

Corporations in business, manufacturing and medicine also provide volunteer leaders to mentor the students. 


Beth told us how a group of students developed and made lamps that showed how much electricity was used when it was turned on. The students then sold the lamps to the public.


The programs are delivered by corporate volunteers, community-based organizations, and educators. The lessons, which are aligned with the State of Michigan educational standards, are designed to provide relevant experience and knowledge needed for vocational and personal success.


  JA was started in 1949 and serves youth from 5 to 25. Classes are taught in schools, community centers, and libraries. Career fairs are held for the students to explore different fields available in Michigan. JA has programs in Livonia and Clarenceville Schools.


Through Junior Achievement, students learn that it's possible to invest in their future, get a better understanding of how the world works, and pursue their dreams.


Susan Paluchniak

 




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