Junior Achievement

Sun Sentinel: Building the Next Generation of Thinkers and Innovators

OPINION
By LAURIE SALLARULO AND DONNA KORN
SPECIAL TO THE SUN SENTINEL | DEC 03, 2021 AT 8:00 AM

Unleashing the highest potential of every young person is at the core of Broward County Public Schools and Junior Achievement of South Florida’s missions. The partnership between the two organizations has deepened over the past 13 years and is focused on integrating relevant, experiential Junior Achievement programs around work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy into core curriculum. These programs provide classroom lessons and simulations that help students connect academics and real life while building knowledge, skills, habits and mindsets that prepare them for success.

In addition to teaching work skills, another common goal of BCPS and Junior Achievement is exposing students to pathways that spark their interest and passion. A key pathway is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education builds character as well as critical thinking skills, which prepare students for any path our students decide to pursue.

Entrepreneurship education not only provides the capacity to start companies, which more and more young people are interested in today, but also teaches students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to think creatively, solve problems, work collaboratively, build confidence and develop talents and skills critical to success.

Entrepreneurship education is a lifelong learning experience, starting as early as elementary school and progressing through higher education. Studies of high-school-level curricula in youth entrepreneurship report that students increase their career goals, interest in college and leadership behavior after participating in entrepreneurship programs. In addition, the study shows that students who participate in entrepreneurship education are four times more likely to develop a sense of ownership — businesses, homes, cars, financial and job ownership.

Each year, Junior Achievement of South Florida provides entrepreneurship education to over 600 high school students across 28 BCPS high schools. Over the course of the school year, these students develop problem solving, communication, collaboration, presentation and critical thinking skills by starting real operating companies, taking them from ideation to capitalization to dissolution. Students source, market and sell their products, learning about supply chain and logistics management, customer service and financing. Student company teams compete locally and nationally for Company of the Year status. This program is transformative!

But this education should be available to every student. This type of learning can help address systemic inequities in our education system, as research suggests that at-risk students who develop these skills early are more likely to enroll in post-secondary education, be prepared for the workforce, and engage in entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurship education can provide a chance for every student to change their circumstances and self‐determine their future. It can create a level playing field where the best ideas win.

The nature of the workforce is changing rapidly and we must focus on getting our students ready to succeed in the new global marketplace. Preparing today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world requires that students be prepared with the capacity to achieve not only in business as we know it today but in future business models that we have yet to explore. This is a pivotal responsibility for education today. It is imperative that we all play a role in this responsibility. Corporate leaders must invest in preparing the future workforce; parents must advocate for entrepreneurial education, ensuring their children possess the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset they’ll need to be successful; and local, state and federal political leaders need to support this curriculum as a core competency in education.

Junior Achievement of South Florida and Broward County Public Schools continue to explore expanded opportunities to work together to provide more students with an entrepreneurial opportunity along their educational journey.

We can all be a catalyst in creating a vibrant, equitable culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for all of our children. Join Junior Achievement and BCPS in this educational movement! For more information about Junior Achievement entrepreneurship programs, how to get involved as a mentor or advocate or to support these programs, visit jasouthflorida.org/ja-fellows.

Laurie Sallarulo is President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida, and Donna Korn is a member of the Broward County School Board.

Sun Sentinel: Building the Next Generation of Thinkers and Innovators
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10 Million Reasons for Work and Career Readiness Education

Author: Jack E. Kosakowski, President & CEO of Junior Achievement USA

Recently, and for the first time, the number of job openings in the United States exceeded 10 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) Report. At the same time, there are more than 7 million who are eligible to work but who are unemployed.

Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of conversation around what’s happening in the American workforce. This includes “The Great Resignation,” where record numbers of workers are quitting their jobs, citing everything from pandemic-related burnout and lagging wages to a complete reassessment of what a job should be in light of everything our society has experienced recently. When you hear these accounts, it’s natural to assume that this is a short-term issue that will work itself out over time as COVID-19 becomes more manageable and people get to the point where they must work to provide for themselves and their families.

The fact is, there is a longer-term problem at hand. Even before the pandemic, employers were struggling to find qualified workers. This had been an issue for several years. However, the difference between now and then is that record numbers of qualified professionals, primarily Baby Boomers, accelerated their plans for retirement during the pandemic. Unfortunately, while one of the most skilled generations in our nation has begun to move out of the workforce en masse, there aren’t similarly skilled younger workers prepared to take their place. More than anything else, this reality could help explain why there are 10 million job openings in need of qualified applicants and so few who can fill them.

The question is, “Why aren’t today’s younger workers more inclined or better prepared to take on these roles?” Ironically, Millennials are one of the most educated generations in history. Unfortunately, according to a 2015 study from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), that education failed to sufficiently cover critical skills needed for employment, including STEM, communication, and critical problem-solving, for too many members of that generation. Additionally, in terms of career aspirations, a 2019 survey by Morning Consult showed that 86 percent of teens and young adults were interested in “Social Media Influencer” as a career choice.

Now, this isn’t to say every teen or young adult is on YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram trying to be the next Kim Kardashian or Jake Paul. For instance, the top college majors as of 2021 still focus on critically needed professions like business, healthcare, engineering, and education. And there are millions of Millennials and Gen-Zers who are finding work and career success in those and many other fields. But when our young people look to career role models, should it be surprising that those role models come from something they are extremely familiar with, like social media, and not engineering, for instance?

The truth is, as a society, we need to do a better job of tying education to work and career outcomes so that we don’t end up with such a significant disparity between people looking for jobs and jobs looking for people. This includes helping young people draw the connection between what they are learning in school and its application to success outside of the classroom. This means helping students explore their interests, talents, and strengths and linking them to an educational pathway that results in the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies needed to find meaningful and rewarding jobs and careers. This also means putting them in contact with successful professionals in their communities who can serve as role models to inspire them to be the next engineer, technician, educator, skilled tradesperson, or physician, and not necessarily the next social media star.

Junior Achievement learning experiences do just that. As the result of JA’s work and career readiness pathways approach, which complements similar coursework in financial literacy and entrepreneurship, our program alumni tell us that Junior Achievement played a significant role in increasing their educational attainment, professional development, and career satisfaction. Part of our educational delivery includes engaging professionals from the local community as volunteers to deliver our learning experiences while sharing their work and career journeys with students. The combination of our volunteer delivery model and curriculum has been shown to inspire and prepare young people to find work and career success as adults.

10 Million Reasons for Work and Career Readiness Education
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The Payoff Behind Time Management

How to build a necessary life-skill

Author: Hannah Henry
JSA USA BLOG

Panic rushes over you. You’re late. The alarm didn’t go off, and now you’re scrambling to start your day. As you nearly drip toothpaste down your shirt, you can’t help but wonder, “how did I let this happen?!”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines time-management as “the practice of using the time that you have available in a useful and effective way….” But where do these skills begin? And what is the real benefit?

Basics of Time Management 

From the start of life, we learn how to prioritize daily events. From waking up to dinner time to bedtime, we become accustomed to routines. Time management, or what some may say “personal management,” follows the same guidelines, only we adjust our day to fit the non-routine elements better. While this soft skill benefits children of all ages in their learning, it has the long-term impact of benefiting them once they are in the workforce.

Understanding the basics behind managing time can reduce stress, increase performance, and all-around enhance work-life balance. Here are the steps to help manage the time in your day better:

  1. Prioritize
    Start your day off with making a list, identifying which items need to be done first and which tasks take a lower priority.
  2. Organize
    If a big project can’t be accomplished in a day, be sure to set deadlines for more bite-sized pieces to ensure success. A great way to do this is by identifying the components needed for the project and then spreading them out on your calendar to be accomplished along the way.
  3. Reduce Distractions
    Eliminating all distractions is unrealistic. We will always face a phone ringing, an email landing in our inbox, or the unexpected colleague drop-in, but being able to resume work promptly or putting a non-urgent call or email on the backburner is key.
  4. Eliminate Multitasking
    We live in a world where we are trained to jump back and forth between homework assignments or work projects. In our minds, it’s the performance idiom we all know, “kill two birds with one stone.” Yet, when we split our attention, our work tends to suffer. In fact, psychology professor David Meyer, PhD, found that even quick shifts between tasks can cause someone to lose as much as 40% of productive time.
  5. Take Breaks
    Giving your mind a break helps replenish your energy and focus, but only after you have finished a task. Before continuing your to-do list, be sure to get up from your desk for a short time to stretch and refresh your mind.
  6. Reward Yourself
    By managing your time better, you will face opportunity costs. These costs are things that you could have done instead of spending your time on the prioritized tasks you identified. Not to mention, high productivity can be exhausting! Be sure to disconnect from work when your workday is done and participate in a hobby or activity you enjoy. You’ve earned it!

The Payoff for Employees and Employers 

While some may depend on procrastination to give them the willpower they need to meet deadlines, this method rarely results in high-quality work. Employers know the value of an employee with the soft skill of time management and what it means for their team and company. Employees who possess and practice better control of their time often excel in many aspects, including:

  1. Ability to work under pressure of deadlines
  2. Dependability on projects and in meetings
  3. Organization skills in all areas of work

But the payoff doesn’t stop with employers; research from 158 studies of 50,000 people over the past 30 years found 72% of people had greater life satisfaction when they could structure and manage their time. Researchers believe this is due to the sense of self-accomplishment after completing their schedules day-to-day around tasks that align with their internal motivators (values and beliefs).

The proof is in the time stamp when it comes to managing the hours in your day wisely. Not only does it pay off to learn these skills young and perfect them in school, but they also transfer into your value in the workforce and personal fulfillment.

The Payoff Behind Time Management
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PRNewswire: 3 Mavins’ Partners With Junior Achievement

South Florida-based Craft Beer 3 Mavins’ Partners With Junior Achievement At ‘Ultimate Night Out’ Event at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on October 28, 2021

NEWS PROVIDED BY
3 Mavins’
Oct 20, 2021, 10:30 ET

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla.Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — 3 Mavins’, South Florida’s newest craft beer sensation, has been selected as the exclusive craft beer at Junior Achievement of South Florida’s prestigious ‘Ultimate Night Out’ sold-out fundraiser event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. Junior Achievement is a national non-profit dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for the future and make smart academic and economic choices.

3 Mavins’ is an American Style Lager brewed in Lakeland, Florida. The company was founded with the same entrepreneurial principles that Junior Achievement aims to inspire in the youth of today. 3 Mavins’ was born out of the idea that simple clean ingredients should take precedence over the infinite supply of craft beers that are either too fruity, sour, bitter or hoppy for the average beer consumer. The American Style Lager with notes of honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup, is the perfect refreshment to pair with meals and share with friends and family to celebrate happy occasions.

“I’m a big believer in experiential learning and fascinated with business innovation,” said Kevin Thomas, CEO of 3 Mavins’. “Partnering with Junior Achievement on this exciting event and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs aligns perfectly with our company’s mission.”

About 3 Mavins’

South Florida-based craft beer 3 Mavins’ was created in an apartment kitchen in Lauderdale Lakes, FL in 2019 and now is commercially produced in Lakeland, Florida. The “Mavin” name comes from a combination of the founders names: Kevin, Maja and their dog Windy. Kevin and Maja have tasted beer in more than 40 countries and applied their knowledge and refined tastes to 3 Mavins’ American Style Lager. Mavin is a derivative spelling of Maven —  defined as one who is experienced or knowledgeable and known as an expert. The American Style Lager caters to regular beer drinkers who like to enjoy a fine, simple beer with friends & family. For more information on South Florida’s newest craft beer sensation, please go to www.3mavins.com and follow us on Instagram @3mavinsbeer.

About Junior Achievement of South Florida

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) inspires and prepares youth to succeed in a global economy. JA provides real-world training in financial literacy including budgeting, spending, investing and the use of credit; offers cutting-edge skill-building opportunities that enable young people to explore meaningful, productive careers; teaches students how to start businesses; and introduces entrepreneurial values that strengthen workplaces. Last year, with the help of over 7,100 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered over 20 various programs to almost 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, a first-class facility housing JA Biz Town and JA Finance Park. For more information about JA of South Florida, visit www.JASouthFlorida.org. Follow JA on social media @jasouthflorida.

PRNewswire: 3 Mavins’ Partners With Junior Achievement
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Why Work Needs Meaning

“The Great Resignation” has been in the news lately.

There has been significant turnover of young workers, many citing burnout and job dissatisfaction for their reasons to seek other opportunities. For this Labor Day and beyond, Junior Achievement has developed a thought leadership piece and video focusing on the importance of aligning interests, talents, and passion with jobs and how JA learning experiences are one way to do this.

Much has been made in recent months about “The Great Resignation,” the tendency of young workers, primarily Millennials and Generation Z, to quit their jobs to pursue higher-paying, higher growth opportunities. According to a recent survey by Adobe, factors contributing to turnover include pandemic-related burnout, the repetitiveness of duties, poor work/life balance, and general job dissatisfaction. Additional research from Gartner shows that while most HR professionals realize an improved employee experience should be a priority for employers, only 13 percent of current employees are “fully satisfied” with their employment experience. This could help explain why 3.9 million Americans quit their jobs in June of 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The question is, “What can be done about this?” It’s not like this is the first time employees have had work/life balance issues, for example. In fact, according to ADP, the concept goes back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when two-income Baby Boomer families were juggling responsibilities at work and home. Since then, there have been many studies that show similar trends with Generation X and older Millennials. As for job satisfaction, for the past two decades, only about half of Americans have expressed satisfaction with their work, according to the Conference Board. And even in the early 1990s and late 1980s, when job satisfaction was at its peak, around 40 percent of Americans were still dissatisfied. The big difference now is what is driving employees to act on these concerns and quit at historic levels?

One factor could be a disconnect between employee’s interests, talents, and the fields in which they work. There’s a common saying attributed to everyone from Marc Antony to Mark Twain to ancient proverbs that goes: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Regardless of who said it, there’s probably some truth to it, given the enduring nature of the sentiment.

The most common denominator behind “The Great Resignation” may be that most people simply don’t like what they are doing for a living. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, of the six most popular college majors, only 27 percent of graduates in those majors continued working in their fields of study following their initial employment out of school. Additionally, the Adobe survey notes that most Gen Z-ers struggling with burnout focus on those aspects of their jobs that they are passionate about to continue working. It’s entirely possible that what’s missing is the alignment of employees’ passions to what they do for a living that can’t be solved by employer perks like occasional free lunches and fitness benefits.

This isn’t to discount contributing factors that cause people to quit jobs, such as bad pay, a toxic workplace, and a lack of growth opportunities. But the fact that it is now happening on such a large scale that it’s become a societal trend should prompt consideration of broader underlying causes, such as the way we think of work and help our young people prepare for it.

At Junior Achievement, part of our focus is to help students become work- and career-ready. We do this by helping them understand the relevance of what they are learning in school to future success. We assist them in exploring their interests and talents as they relate to jobs and careers. Most importantly, we help students understand that higher education isn’t an end unto itself, but instead a means to help them achieve their potential as adults, whether that higher education takes the form of college, trade school, on-the-job training, or some other postsecondary pathway. As a result of this approach, our research shows that 88 percent of adult JA Alumni are satisfied with their careers.

We believe job satisfaction comes from the purpose and meaning derived from that work. That is accomplished by aligning passion, talents, skills, and competencies with that work. When all of this comes together, employee satisfaction has a chance to grow.

Why Work Needs Meaning
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Four Simple Ways to Give Back to Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of South Florida empowers our youth with the knowledge, ability and confidence to navigate their futures, drive our economy, and lead our community. However, we cannot continue inspiring tomorrows without your help. There are numerous ways to get involved with Junior Achievement and help us train the next generation of business leaders, employees and consumers by educating students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness.

#1. Choose JA on AmazonSmile

Did you know that a portion of some purchases on Amazon can come back to support Junior Achievement of South Florida? It’s through AmazonSmile.

  • Visit smile.amazon.com.
  • Sign in with the same account you use for Amazon.com
  • Select your charity – choose Junior Achievement of South Florida
  • Start shopping! Remember to checkout at smile.amazon.com to generate donations for your chosen charity.

#2. Participate in the CITY Furniture Test Rest Initiative

From now until 11:50 p.m. September 30, 2021, CITY Furniture customers can receive a $25 Visa or Starbucks gift card when visiting any location and testing one of the mattresses. At the same time, CITY Furniture matches it with a $25 donation to Junior Achievement of South Florida.

#3. Volunteer/Mentor Our Youth

Become a JA Volunteer or Mentor!

Junior Achievement of South Florida answers our children’s urgent need with a proven model. Through your volunteer service with JA, you can step up and make it possible for students to participate in our relevant, hands-on programs.

Click on button below to learn more about our volunteer/mentor opportunities and join the JA Volunteer Family.

One Exciting Opportunity Available Now!

Use your skills and expertise to inspire and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs in the JA Fellows Business Incubator program.

Why Mentor?

  • Build or further exercise leadership, teambuilding, coaching , and presentation skills
  • Represent your company/industry to future employees
  • Raise your profile in the company/community
  • Make an impact in your community
  • Inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs
  • Help young people reach their full potential
  • Share your knowledge and skills

JA Makes It Easy

  • Work solo or as part of a team
  • Find a school or location that is convenient
  • Receive comprehensive training and materials
  • Get ongoing support from JA staff

Learn more by contact Martha Rios at Martha@JASouthFlorida.org or (954) 979-7103.

#3. Invest in Junior Achievement

Invest in Tomorrow’s Leaders

  • Imagine a generation of students equipped with confidence and understanding to take control of their financial futures.
  • Imagine a generation prepared with skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace.
  • Imagine a generation of students that are motivated by the idea of free enterprise and inspired to become entrepreneurs.

Junior Achievement of South Florida is supported through the generous gifts of a diverse group of individuals, alumni, parents, businesses and charitable foundations. Our donors view their contributions as a vital investment in our children’s future.

Four Simple Ways to Give Back to Junior Achievement
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JA Welcomes Universal Insurance Holdings to Finance Park

New storefront in JA Finance Park teaches students about insurance careers and financial literacy

For Immediate Release

For More Information Contact:

Christopher Miller, Marketing Manager
Junior Achievement of South Florida
(954) 979-7110
Christopher@JASouthFlorida.org

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT WELCOMES UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS TO PATTEN FAMILY FOUNDATION JA FINANCE PARK

Junior Achievement of South Florida is proud to announce a partnership with Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE), which has a new University Property & Casualty Insurance storefront at the Patten Family Foundation JA Finance Park.

“Universal recognizes that Junior Achievement is at the forefront of guiding the next generation with their financial literacy, particularly in disadvantaged communities that benefit from the programs. As a financial services institution, we value partnering with key community organizations that align with our company mission and provide financial literacy curriculum to our youth,” said Stephen J. Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer.

Each year, more than 20,000 eighth grade students from Broward and south Palm Beach counties participate in JA Finance Park, where they learn how career pathways and financial decisions impact their lives.  Students explore various educational pathways that can lead to rewarding careers and practice managing personal finances such as expenses related to family health care, real estate and home improvements, automobiles, insurance, entertainment, education, and purchasing items such as clothing, furniture, and groceries.

The program consists of both career exploration and financial literacy curriculum that teaches them about finances, careers, income, expenses, savings, and credit, while helping students recognize that their education decisions affect their career options and have an impact on their potential income and quality of life. With the guidance of experienced volunteers, paired interactive in-school curriculum and live simulation experience at JA World, students connect the dots between what they learn in school, and the real world.

“Our hope is that the Universal storefront will provide immersive learning that gives students exposure and a deeper understanding of the insurance industry. From owning home insurance to pursuing great career opportunities within the industry and everything in between,” Mr. Donaghy said.

“One of JA’s core values is to ‘Deliver the WOW’. We can’t wait to see what fun, informative and interactive features will be available in Universal’s storefront for students, teachers, and volunteers. Thank you UVE for supporting our mission of empowering our youth with the knowledge, ability and confidence to navigate their futures, drive our economy and lead our community,” said Laurie Sallarulo, President & CEO.

UVE joins 15 other storefronts sponsors in JA Finance Park that help equip youth with knowledge to budget, save and invest. Learn more about the JA Finance Park program at www.jasouthflorida.org/ja-finance-park.

A special ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, home of JA BizTown and JA Finance Park, on Wednesday, October 20. More details will be available soon.

About Junior Achievement of South Florida

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) inspires and prepares youth to succeed in a global economy. JA provides real-world training in financial literacy including budgeting, spending, investing and the use of credit; offers cutting-edge skill-building opportunities that enable young people to explore meaningful, productive careers; teaches students how to start businesses; and introduces entrepreneurial values that strengthen workplaces. Last year, with the help of over 7,100 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered over 20 various programs to almost 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties and at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, a first-class facility housing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. For more information about Junior Achievement of South Florida, visit www.JASouthFlorida.org. Follow JA on social media @jasouthflorida.

About Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Universal Insurance Holdings (UVE) is a holding company offering property and casualty insurance and value-added insurance services. We develop, market, and write insurance products for consumers predominantly in the personal residential homeowners lines of business and perform substantially all other insurance-related services for our primary insurance entities, including risk management, claims management and distribution. We sell insurance products through both our appointed independent agents and through our direct online distribution channels in the United States across 19 states (primarily Florida). Learn more at UniversalInsuranceHoldings.com.

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JA Welcomes Universal Insurance Holdings to Finance Park
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EINPRESSWIRE: Meals on Wheels Partners with Junior Achievement

Internship program provided valuable tools to young students on both financial and programmatic aspects of the nonprofit

NEWS PROVIDED BY
August 09, 2021, 17:30 GMT

Published: August 9, 2021

PLANTATION, FLORIDA, USA, August 9, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ —

During Summer 2021, Meals on Wheels South Florida was proud to partner with Junior Achievement of South Florida on their summer internship program, which provided a significant amount of daily support to the executive offices. Junior Achievement of South Florida is an organization that trains the next generation of business leaders, employees, and consumers by educating students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels South Florida has reported a 500% increase in calls looking for meals, and a 300% increase in the number of home-delivered meals provided. “The pandemic has pushed the number of seniors who are food insecure to record levels,” said Mark Adler, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels South Florida. “The ability to partner with Junior Achievement of South Florida on their summer internship program has provided us with talented young individuals to assist us with our mission of providing nutritious meals and safety checks to South Florida’s senior community.”

Junior Achievement of South Florida Intern Crystal Williams shared that her experience working with Meals on Wheels South Florida was truly rewarding. “I was touched by how the organization serves the senior community of Broward with so many remarkable programs and services,” Williams noted. “Working with the Finance Department at Meals on Wheels South Florida taught me so much about account reconciliations for nonprofit organizations.”

As the pandemic lingers and the number of seniors reaching out for assistance continues to increase, Meals on Wheels South Florida expects demand to grow even more into the Fall. Visit mowsoflo.org to register to volunteer and learn how to support Meals on Wheels South Florida’s efforts to meet the growing need for home-delivered meals during this time.

About Meals on Wheels South Florida
Meals on Wheels South Florida is a private nonprofit organization providing hunger-relief services since 1984. With the dedication of nearly 500 volunteers, Meals on Wheels South Florida delivers nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable South Florida seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. Meals on Wheels South Florida serves more than 10,000 seniors and 5,000 children an estimated 1.5 million meals each year. Included in their comprehensive list of programs and services are home meal delivery, community-based dining, meals for companion pets, grocery shopping assistance, nutrition education and emergency meals. For more information, please call 954.731.8770 or visit mowsoflo.org.

Meals on Wheels South Florida Funding Statement
Meals on Wheels South Florida is funded under the Older Americans Act and Fair Share Dollars from local municipalities through the State of Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs and The Area Agency on Aging of Broward County. The generous support from The Jim Moran Foundation, Jewish Federation of Broward, United Way of Broward, the Children’s Services Council, the cities of Tamarac and Pompano and Private Donations allows us to provide meals and services to those in most immediate need who would otherwise be placed on the ever-growing waiting list for home-delivered meals. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. Human Services Network, Inc. D/B/A/ Meals on Wheels South Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Registration Number: 01331.

About Junior Achievement of South Florida
Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) inspires and prepares youth to succeed in a global economy. JA provides real-world training in financial literacy including budgeting, spending, investing and the use of credit; offers cutting-edge skill-building opportunities that enable young people to explore meaningful, productive careers; teaches students how to start businesses; and introduces entrepreneurial values that strengthen workplaces. Last year, with the help of over 7,100 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered over 20 various programs to almost 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties and at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, a first-class facility housing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. For more information about Junior Achievement of South Florida, visit www.JASouthFlorida.org. Follow JA on social media @jasouthflorida.

Media Contact:
Mark Adler, Executive Director
Office: 954.714.6940
E-mail: madler@mowsoflo.org

EINPRESSWIRE: Meals on Wheels Partners with Junior Achievement
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A Challenging School Year Ahead

A third of U.S. teens say they need additional emotional support from caring adults this school year.

This thought leadership piece and video below show how the volunteer/mentoring and social-emotional learning components of JA learning experiences can help!

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond the disruptions students experienced during the 2020-21 school year and possibly into the current one. The “new normal” America’s youth experienced in education, including the uneven quality of and access to remote, hybrid, and virtual learning, combined with the lack of regular social interaction with peers, teachers, and mentors, may have long-term impacts on countless students’ educational achievement and overall wellbeing.

According to a January 2021 study by the U.S. Department of Education titled The Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on America’s Students, “Emerging evidence shows that the pandemic has negatively affected academic growth, widening pre-existing disparities.” The research also notes that “Nearly all students have experienced some challenges to their mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic, and many have lost access to school-based services and supports.”

Teens’ Concerns

To better understand teens’ perspectives on the new school year, Junior Achievement USA conducted a survey of 1,003 teens between the ages of 13 and 17 in conjunction with the research firm ENGINE Insights. The survey occurred between July 8 and 13, 2021, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

The focus of the survey was to gain a better understanding of how teens felt the pandemic impacted them and what could be done to support them as they make the transition into what is hopefully a more predictable school year. The survey results show that nearly 2-in-5 (39%) teens feel that they are behind educationally because of the pandemic. Of those, more than a third (37%) feel they are behind permanently.

Much of this could be attributed to the quality of educational delivery models schools, teachers, and students struggled with due to restrictions associated with COVID-19. Most teens (56%) rated the quality of education during the pandemic as “fair/poor,” while the rest (44%) rated it as “excellent/very good/good.” Teen interest in participating in online-only classes in the future was split down the middle, with nearly half interested (46%) and almost half not (48%).

Even though survey participants reported that they are looking forward to in-person classes and interaction with friends during the school year, a third of teens (34%) expressed concern about attending school in-person this year, compared to two-thirds (66%) who have little to no concern. Most teens (91%) say they need additional support this coming school year. This support includes being able to interact in-person with teachers and fellow students (53%), the ability to attend school entirely inperson (44%), and more individual attention from teachers to help with learning (32%).

More than a third of teens (34%) say they need “emotional support” from teachers, parents, counselors, and other caring adults to help their “mental wellbeing.” These “caring adults” include mentors and role models that teens may not have otherwise had access to during the COVID restrictions.

The Role of JA

While Junior Achievement is not a mental health organization, there are elements of its delivery model that can be beneficial when it comes to students’ sense of purpose, self-esteem, and general wellbeing.

First, JA volunteers act as mentors and role models. Online mentoring platform Guider cites several studies from the Mental Health Foundation, the nonprofit Mind, and The Advocacy Project that show mentors can positively impact mental health and overall wellbeing. These include reducing a sense of isolation, increasing belief in self, and fostering hope for the future.

Second, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) has been demonstrated to result in positive outcomes when it comes to mental health and overall wellbeing, resulting in positive short-term and long-term outcomes, as noted in research by the nonprofit Education Development Center. Elements of SEL that can be found in Junior Achievement learning experiences include goal setting, interpersonal communication, problem solving, and self-motivation.

A 2020 survey of JA alumni by research firm Ipsos highlights some of the reported benefits to those who participated in Junior Achievement as students. According to Ipsos, about 4-in-5 JA alumni report that the JA program played a somewhat important or very important role in their decision to pursue further education (79%), their professional development (79%), and their personal development (78%). Eighty-five percent (85%) of JA alumni say the JA program played an important role in fostering the belief that they could achieve their goals, and 83% say it also played an important role in boosting their confidence in new situations. Three-quarters say it played an important role in their career path (75%).

Men and women JA alumni are equally likely to say they were positively impacted in some way by the JA program (92% of men and 87% of women). Black (96%) and Hispanic (95%) JA alumni are equally likely to say that the JA Program positively impacted their future choices and perceptions as their white counterparts (93%).

Conclusion

While Junior Achievement’s goal is to promote competencies around work and career readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship amongst students, its delivery model – which combines caring volunteers with proven programs – has been shown to promote self-belief and a sense of purpose in students.

These outcomes go beyond the individual aspects of knowledge, attitude, and skills to foster a holistic “I Can” mindset, helping young people gain confidence in their ability to feel they have more control of their lives. Promoting this mindset is especially important as young people search for emotional support and positive reinforcement in what are hopefully the waning days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Challenging School Year Ahead
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Junior Achievement Provides High Schoolers with Internships

For Immediate Release 

For More Information Contact:
Christopher Miller, Marketing Manager
Junior Achievement of South Florida
(954) 979-7110 
Christopher@JASouthFlorida.org 

JA has another successful year of providing internship opportunities for local high school students

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) just completed another summer of providing 57 JA-trained interns job opportunities with 26 South Florida businesses. The overall goal of the program is to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s careers by bridging the gap from education to employment.

“Junior Achievement is a solution provider in our community. Employers need to hire qualified, talented young professionals who are well trained for an always evolving workforce. JA is preparing our students to be the most responsible consumers, the most productive employees and business owners that will create jobs to better our economy,” said Laurie Sallarulo, Junior Achievement of South Florida President and CEO.

Prior to their internships, students participate in the JA Career Bound and JA Fellows Entrepreneurship programs, which teach high school students the necessary skills to succeed in today’s workforce.

JA Career Bound includes a retreat, programs days focused on discovering specific industries, learning from top executives who share their professional journey to success and culminates in summer employment opportunities. Skills taught include critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, public speaking, communication, interviewing for a job and establishing career goals.

JA Fellows is the go-to business incubator where students gain real-world business experience by working in groups of 20-25, conceptualizing, capitalizing, and managing their own small businesses.

“This program is amazing. I’ve learned so many things, including writing a good resume, what I’m supposed to wear for a job interview and other helpful skills. I don’t think I would have gotten this internship if it wasn’t for this program. I feel more confidence and am better prepared for future opportunities,” said Estalaura, summer employee with Winterfest Inc.

Running from June to August, the Summer Youth Employment program matches trained interns with a company in each student’s industry of preference. Employers interview the students to guarantee a perfect match. Each employer provides 3-5 weeks of meaningful work and proper training so both parties can maximize on this opportunity. Thanks to generous funding from The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, JA helps pay the wages for some interns.

“It’s a win-win partnership. The students gain work experience, future opportunities and build a strong network of professionals. Employers build and enhance their brand, invest in the next generation of leaders and ensure a pipeline of qualified, prepared employees in the future,” Sallarulo said.

In addition to internships, students have access to 13 job coaches from Ameri Corps and 30 business mentors. Since their internships, six students have been offered to continue the employment after the summer. They are Taylor with The Humane Society of Broward County, Jayden with Allied Kitchen and Bath, Ella with Latin2Latin, Faedia with CrewFacilities.com, Nancy and Lianet with State Farm.

“This amazing internship has opened my eyes to new experiences and future opportunities. I’ve learned more about nonprofit organizations, and at The Humane Society, how to care for animals,” Taylor said.

“As employers and organizations, it’s part of our duty to give back to the community. I think the Summer Youth Employment program is a great opportunity to give back not only to the community, but also to those students who are going to be graduating soon,” said Mili Orsini Peluso, Chief Operating Officer at Centuric.

For more information on how you can host a trained student intern for next summer 2022, contact Anna Khaver, Youth Employment Manager, at (954) 979-7106 or email Anna@JASouthFlorida.org.

 About Junior Achievement of South Florida 

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) inspires and prepares youth to succeed in a global economy. JA provides real-world training in financial literacy including budgeting, spending, investing and the use of credit; offers cutting-edge skill-building opportunities that enable young people to explore meaningful, productive careers; teaches students how to start businesses; and introduces entrepreneurial values that strengthen workplaces. Last year, with the help of over 7,100 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered over 20 various programs to almost 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties and at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, a first-class facility housing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. For more information about Junior Achievement of South Florida, visit www.JASouthFlorida.org. Follow JA on social media @jasouthflorida. 

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Junior Achievement Provides High Schoolers with Internships
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