Imagine a town where young entrepreneurs organize and operate a business. The business manages a personal bank account and creates a business plan with their staff. Displays are created, items are priced and sold, reporters interview local business leaders to get the most up-to-date stories and CEOs and CFOs work together as a team. This describes a day at Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown.
This past June, the Junior Achievement Florida Foundation announced that it received a $70,000 grant from State Farm. The statewide initiative will support Junior Achievement learning experiences in eight localities throughout Florida, enabling thousands of young people to participate in JA’s nationally recognized financial literacy and career readiness learning experiences.
“State Farm believes that financial literacy education is critical to building stronger and more resilient communities,” said Jose Soto, State Farm corporate responsibility analyst. “Part of our education funding is directed toward initiatives and programs that support K-12 financial literacy and pathways for college and career success. We are proud to support Junior Achievement financial literacy and career readiness programs across Florida.”
Each of the eight Florida-based JA areas will use the support to advance learning experiences most needed in their region. JA Tampa Bay, which includes Hillsborough, Polk, Highlands and Sarasota counties, will use the support for JA BizTown, a capstone learning experience that introduces fifth graders to economic concepts, workplace skills and personal and business finances. They act as employees and consumers, from paying bills to handling customer service, and experience what it’s like to earn and work in a community.
JA Finance Park, another capstone learning experience that is a real-life simulation, is where students enter the game of life and apply financial concepts to balance their personal budget and learn to make choices that support their future goals.
3DE Schools by Junior Achievement, the newest JA learning experience, teaches students in high school relevant business skills and core competencies through business case methodology.
“In the past six years, Junior Achievement of Florida has received over $370,000 from State Farm to support all JA chapters across Florida,” Soto said. “In 2022, State Farm provided over $700,000 in charitable grants to JA nationwide in support of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy education program in 43 regions.”
If you would like to learn more about Junior Achievement and the programs it offers, you can visit its website at https://jatampabay.org/.