All posts tagged: financial literacy

SFBW May 2021: Soft Skills Lead to Rock Stars

Junior Achievement Fills In The Gaps That The Traditional Classroom Leaves Behind

By Drew Limsky
South Florida Business & Wealth, May 2021 Edition

“I am a social person,” says high school senior Huguette St Hubert, with her characteristic directness. She recalls feeling “emotionally drained” when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and it became clear to her that her social network, other than her family, was threatening to dry up along with the educational camaraderie she so prizes.

Born in Haiti and now 18, St Hubert emigrated to the United States at 13 to live with her father—and for the educational opportunities—in Fort Lauderdale. She graduated Lauderdale Lakes Middle School without a hitch, but it’s safe to say that St Hubert’s senior year at Fort Lauderdale’s Stranahan High School required some adjustments. Ironically, the most “normal” thing about the last year has revolved around what is arguably the most stressful aspect of a typical senior year: the age old question of which college to choose. (She has narrowed it down to FAU and NSU).

But for St Hubert, Junior Achievement of South Florida— which empowers students through work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy—has proven to be a life raft, both before and during the pandemic. The physical facility—at least pre-COVID— was a hub of activity, a smart simulation of a central business district: “It gives students a glimpse into the business world,” explains Keith Koenig, a longtime sponsor of Junior Achievement and the owner and CEO of City Furniture (his son Andrew serves as president). “There are about 20 different businesses that are $50,000-per-year sponsors, and that’s important foundation funding. We each have a physical presence, a storefront, so students can roleplay as bankers—or working for a furniture company.”

SFBW May 2021: Soft Skills Lead to Rock Stars
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State Farm Awards $60,000 Grant to Junior Achievement

Funding Supports Junior Achievement Work Readiness & Financial Literacy programs for At-Risk Children

 

For Immediate Release 

For More Information Contact: 

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

COCONUT CREEK – The Junior Achievement Florida Foundation has announced today that it has received a $60,000 grant from State Farm. The state-wide 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 work readiness learning experiences.

“The mission of State Farm remains committed to ensuring that young people receive financial literacy and work readiness education programs,” said Jose Soto, Corporate Responsibility Analyst at State Farm. “Junior Achievement programs help all students improve their financial literacy, especially the low to moderate income students who derive greater benefits from the programs.”

Locally, the $5,000 allocation of State Farm funds to Junior Achievement of South Florida partially funds at-risk high school students with the JA Personal Finance learning experience, educating young people on the relationship between today’s financial decisions and future financial freedom.

Other JA area will use the support to advance learning experiences most needed in their region. JA Southwest Florida will also provide the JA Personal Finance program. JA Tampa Bay will deliver JA Inspire Virtual Career Expo supplemented with the JA Digital Career App. JA Miami will advance the JA Stock Market Challenge, empowering students to visualize, first-hand, how the laws of economics unfold in the real world, encapsulated in a virtual competition. JA Space Coast will provide third and fourth grade students a virtual component of JA More Than Money; a learning experience designed to introduce concepts of money management, goods and services, and global markets.  JA Central Florida, JA North Florida, and JA Palm Beaches will deliver the newly enhanced JA Finance Park Virtual; where students will build a foundation for making intelligent and informed personal finance decisions. JA Northwest Florida will provide JA Economics for Success through a virtual delivery platform, where students explore their skills, interests, values, and the world of work to make informed education, career, and life decisions.

“Many students in our community lack the basic information they need to make good education, career and financial decisions,” explains Laurie Sallarulo, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. “Junior Achievement provides them with the essential entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy skills to be successful future consumers, employees and leaders. We appreciate State Farm for investing in our mission to prepare and inspire youth for success in a global economy.”

About State Farm®

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its 19,200 agents and 59,000 employees serve approximately 84 million policies and accounts – over 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies and over 2 million financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

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 more than 54,000 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.

State Farm Awards $60,000 Grant to Junior Achievement
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Laurie Sallarulo Appointed to Statewide Board of Directors

For Immediate Release: December 23, 2020
Contact: Governor’s Press Office, (850) 717-9282, Media@eog.myflorida.com

 GOVERNOR RON DeSANTIS APPOINTS LAURIE SALLARULO TO THE FLORIDA
ENDOWMENT FOUNDATION FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Laurie Sallarulo to the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation Board of Directors.

Laurie Sallarulo, of Fort Lauderdale, is President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. Previously, she was CEO of Leadership Broward Foundation, Chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County and Chief Development and Strategic Officer for 2-1-1 Broward. Sallarulo has also volunteered her time with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Leadership Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

About The Able Trust

The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment. Since its establishment, The Able Trust has worked with community organizations throughout the state to help thousands of Floridians with disabilities of all ages enter the workforce. The Able Trust youth programs provide career development and transition to many students with disabilities annually, helping to reduce the dropout rate and prepare young adults for life beyond high school.

Learn more at http://www.abletrust.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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Laurie Sallarulo Appointed to Statewide Board of Directors
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My Junior Achievement Journey | Ayesha Sulaman

From Program Assistant, to Program Lead, to Marketing Coordinator. Ayesha reflects on her journey through her time at Junior Achievement of South Florida:

The Journey Begins 

In August of 2018, I was hired as a Program Assistant for Junior Achievement of South Florida’s JA BizTown program. I never imagined myself working with students, yet alone 5th graders! It was amazing seeing them grasp the concepts of financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness at such a young age. I developed many skills including leadership, understanding, patience, stress and time management. I was deeply moved by the impact JA had on these students and pleasantly surprised when I found out that there were programs for students in middle and high school.  

If you’ve ever had the joy of volunteering at JA BizTown, you know that it is a fast-paced working environment. I had to be ready for things you cannot plan for and be able to think quickly on my feet. While this made day-to-day tasks stressful, it was never a boring day and helped build my character. Of course, I had the help of some amazing volunteers who communicated to students their roles as consumers, business leaders and employees.  

The Next Step 

After my first year, I quickly moved up to become a Program Lead, began learning the volunteer orientation, helped prepare JA BizTown curriculum and began to train some of the newly hired Program Assistants. These tasks gave me a better understanding and different perspective of the program. Of course, I wanted to make the most out of my experience, so I offered to work JA events like JA World Uncorked, Rose Soiree and JA Business Hall of Fame! 

I even became involved with the Empowerment Committee, where I served as the committee chair for two years. I discovered a new passion for party planning and decorating! The committee coordinated staff massages, yoga, and our annual JA Olympics. I loved seeing how small, simple gestures, could bring such huge smile on the faces of my fellow co-workers.  

COVID-19 Set Back 

Once COVID-19 hit, my job was on hold due to the fact that students could not visit JA World. I was then offered the position as Marketing Coordinator, a position I had my eye on since I started working at Junior Achievement. I had so much fun working and supporting the team, especially during events. It’s always great seeing everyone come together to pitch in and make the mission come alive.  

During this role, I learned much about creating video content, podcasting, social media strategies, email marketing and website maintenance on WordPress. I enjoyed bragging about the JA impact to stakeholders and connecting with them on LinkedIn! I learned so much and was inspired to start my very own company, Teany Weeny. Although COVID-19 initially set back my career journey, it also brought up new opportunities. 

 The End of One Journey 

As my time at Junior Achievement of South Florida comes to an end, it allows me time to reflect on my experience and prepare for the next journey. As I look back, all I could say is that I am thankful for the skills I’ve learned, the opportunities, and the ever-lasting friends I made. 

My Junior Achievement Journey | Ayesha Sulaman
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JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT AND DISCOVER LAUNCH JA FINANCE PARK VIRTUAL®

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT AND DISCOVER LAUNCH JA FINANCE PARK VIRTUAL®

Coconut Creek, FL – Today, Junior Achievement USA, with the support of Discover, is announcing the launch of JA Finance Park Virtual®The program is designed to help Middle and High School students better understand how to manage money by assigning them simulated life-scenarios and challenging them to successfully manage their finances.

The program, which aligns with national and state educational standards, is delivered by a teacher, with the support of a volunteer from the local business community. This can be done either in-person, online, or in a hybrid model. Students then use a laptop or mobile device to participate in the JA Finance Park Virtual simulation. The program helps teens gain a better understanding of how to assess difficult financial situations and weigh their options.

“Many Americans’ first experience with managing finances is as adults when getting something wrong can have life-changing implications,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “With JA Finance Park Virtual, teens can try, and potentially fail, in a safe environment that includes lessons on money management. We greatly appreciate Discover’s support in helping us get these lessons to as many young people as possible through online delivery.”

“JA Finance Park Virtual gives students the opportunity to learn money management skills needed to make important education, career, and financial decisions, said Brian Hughes, Executive Vice President at Discover, and also a Junior Achievement of Chicago Board member. Helping people achieve brighter financial futures has long been Discover’s mission and we believe that mission extends to the classroom. The lessons learned through JA Finance Park Virtual will benefit teenagers long after they leave school.”

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT AND DISCOVER LAUNCH JA FINANCE PARK VIRTUAL®
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Economic Empowerment for a More Equitable and Just Tomorrow

Why JA? And Why Now?

By Junior Achievement USA

The Realities of Economic Inequity  

Economic inequity has been a reality in the U.S. throughout its history, and it continues to this day. For instance, research by the Pew Research Center shows that the U.S. has the highest income inequality among G7 nations. Despite a narrowing of income and wealth gaps in recent decades, there continue to be vast disparities, especially between white and Black households. In 1970, for example, there was a 78 percent gap in income between white and Black households. And even though that gap marginally improved over time, it was still 64 percent as of 2018. A 2020 study by the Brookings Institution shows that the median net worth of white families in America is ten times greater than that of Black families.

Hispanics and Latinos in the United States face similar challenges, according to research from the Economic Policy Institute. Hispanic men earn nearly 15 percent less than their white counterparts for similar work requiring comparable skills and education. For Hispanic women, it is 33 percent less. At the same time, while Hispanics and Latinos are making greater gains in postsecondary education, that success isn’t reflected in the commensurate reduction of the wage gap compared to working white Americans.

Other research shows that the overall wealth gap more than doubled between America’s richest and poorest families, regardless of race, between 1989 and 2016. To address economic inequity, substantial systemic changes need to occur that are well beyond the mission of an organization like Junior Achievement. They need to happen on the legislative, legal, policymaking, and institutional fronts. But the pressure to eliminate these barriers needs to happen from both ends of the spectrum; not only from those in positions of oversight, but also from those who aspire to break through color lines, cultural divides, and glass ceilings. 

Lasting institutional change is only possible if the people most likely to benefit are prepared with the information and skills necessary to navigate a changing landscape. Knowledge is power, and Junior Achievement’s proven approach will give today’s young people that power in the form of financial capability, career and work readiness, and entrepreneurship. These skills will not only improve their lives but will bolster their families, their communities, and our nation.

Economic Empowerment for a More Equitable and Just Tomorrow
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JA Books, Bucks and Backpacks In The News

JA Books, Bucks and Backpacks In The News

Junior Achievement of South Florida’s Books, Bucks and Backpacks’s initiative is determined to bring financial, reading and health literacy to every child. We’ve partnered with local community members and organizations to help put together backpacks filled with activities, educational materials, other giveaways and food to families in Broward County. To learn more about this initiative and to see a list of our sponsors visit here.

Books, Bucks and Backpacks has seen much success, we’ve even made it in other news outlets. Check them out below!

CityBizList

“Junior Achievement of South Florida (JASF) will be distributing backpacks filled with age appropriate financial education materials, books, healthcare information, snacks and other relevant items to bring youth financial literacy education into the homes of children and families who need it most…”

Visit CityBizList to read more.

NorthLauderdaleNews.net

“Junior Achievement of South Florida (JASF) will be distributing backpacks filled with age appropriate financial education materials, books, healthcare information, snacks, and other relevant back-to-school items for children ages 3-11…”

Visit NorthLauderdaleNews.net to read more

Miami Herald

“Junior Achievement of South Florida plans to host its Financial Literacy Program to help children and families across Broward. The group will distribute backpacks filled with age appropriate financial education materials, books, healthcare information, snacks and other relevant items ‘to bring youth financial literacy education into the homes of children and families who need it most’…”

Visit Miami Herald to read more.

Lifestyle Media

“Junior Achievement of South Florida in Coconut Creek hosted its Books, Bucks and Backpacks initiative in July and August, distributing nearly 2,000 backpacks filled with age-appropriate financial education materials, books, healthcare information, snacks and other relevant items for children ages 3-11…”

Visit Lifestyle to read more.

JA Books, Bucks and Backpacks In The News
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Comcast Newsmakers July 21, 2020

Financial Lessons In The Time Of COVID-19

With Laurie Sallarulo of Junior Achievement of South Florida

Hosted by Nathalia Ortiz
Produced by: Florida Newsmakers Team

As the world faces the challenges of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, one local nonprofit is remaining focused in its mission of empowering students to take control of their financial futures. Laurie Sallarulo, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida, talks about how they delivering their program during these challenging times.

Comcast Newsmakers July 21, 2020
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JA Alumni Report – May 2020

Introduction

A new survey of 1,002 Junior Achievement alumni conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Junior Achievement USA – an organization that aims to develop work-place readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills in students through volunteer-led talks, exercises, and programs – finds that the Junior Achievement (JA) program had a strong impact on JA alumni’s professional and personal development into adulthood and the working-world.

Junior Achievement Alumni Business Owners

Half of JA alumni have started or owned a business in at least one point in time in their lives (53%) according to survey results. One-third report they owned or started one business (35%) and 18% say they owned or started multiple businesses. About three-quarters of JA alumni business owners say their businesses are still operating today (72%). This is far higher than the nationwide average – according to the U.S. Census, just 6%
of Americans are self-employed. Those who are both JA alumni business owners and who report that they worked in the same field as their JA volunteer are more likely to say their business is still operation (82%) than the other JA entrepreneurs. Over half report having small to mid-size businesses that had 50 or fewer employees (63%), while 38% said they owned larger businesses with 51 employees or more.

• Men and women JA alumni are equally likely to say they have started or partnered in multiple
businesses. This makes women who are JA alumni slightly more likely than the national population
to own a business. In 2017, 39% of all U.S. firms were owned by women.

• Younger JA alumni are more likely to say they have started multiple businesses (23%) than those
ages 35-54 (15%) and those ages 55+ (13%).

• JA alumni from the South are more likely to say they have started one business (41%) compared to
one-third of those in the Northeast (30%), Midwest (31%) and West (31%).

Impact on Future Decisions

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%). Fifty-one percent (51%) of JA alumni have college degrees, much higher
than that nationwide average of 33%. 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%). Those who ended up in working in the same field as their JA volunteer are even more likely to say that the JA program played an important role in their career path (88%), their confidence (90%), the belief they could achieve their goals (92%), their professional development (88%), their personal development (87%) and their decision to pursue further education (88%).

• Women and men JA alumni are equally likely to say the JA program played an important role in their decision to pursue further education, personal development, helping them believe they could achieve their goals, and giving them confidence in new situations. While strong majorities of both men and women report that the program played an important role in their professional development (82% and 74% respectively) and their career path (78% and 69% respectively), men were more likely to say the program was important in shaping those aspects of their lives.

JA Alumni Report – May 2020
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Financial Literacy Program to Help Children and Families

For Immediate Release

For More Information Contact:

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

FINANCIAL LITERACY PROGRAM TO HELP
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACROSS BROWARD COUNTY

City of Coconut Creek, FL – On Saturday, July 11th Junior Achievement of South Florida (JASF) will be distributing backpacks from 10 am to 1 pm at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, 1130 Coconut Creek Parkway in Coconut Creek. The backpacks will be filled with youth financial education materials, books, healthcare information, gift cards, snacks and other relevant items.

JASF has partnered with the Early Learning Coalition and other nonprofits who serve families in need to receive the backpacks. Farm Share, Inc. will be on site to provide fresh fruit to families registered to pick up backpacks

There has never been a more important time to stress the critical need for financial literacy than now. Since the day schools closed due to COVID-19, JASF provided free online resources to BCPS, teachers, students and parents so they had the tools to continue to educate our children on the importance of making informed financial decisions that can have a lasting impact.

Now that schools are closed for the summer, JASF stepped up once again and implemented an initiative to reach thousands of children with financial literacy education. Also, through a joint effort with community partners, the backpacks will include reading and health literacy information.

“In school, out of school and at home, learning never stops,” said Laurie Sallarulo, President & CEO of JASF, “That’s why JA has launched the Books, Bucks & Backpack initiative. The goal of this powerful movement is to financially educate children and families who need it most, so they may be empowered to have a more prosperous future. It is also to bring much needed awareness and importance around financial literacy as a cornerstone of education and a strategy for economic recovery.”

Books, Bucks and Backpacks partners currently include American Express, Hudson Family Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Community Care Plan, First Horizon Foundation, TD Bank, Kemet, Office Depot, Citrix, Rick Case Automotive, Health Foundation of South Florida, Ultimate Software, Truist Bank, Nova Southeastern University, PNC Bank, Bank of America, e-Builder, CrewFacilities.com, Dickinson-Wright, Broward College, Broward County, Broward County Public Schools, Early Learning Coalition of Broward County, JetBlue, GL Homes, Broward Health, Miami Book Fair, Chick-fil-A, Florida Panthers and numerous individual donors.

“There has never been a more important time to share financial literacy education. That is why American Express is supporting Junior Achievement’s Books, Bucks and Backpacks campaign. We want to help spread this knowledge to children and families,” said Franki Lupo Schmidt, Vice President and General Manager, American Express.

For more information on how others can support this campaign, visit www.JASouthFlorida.org/GivingToLiteracy, contact Robyn Harper at (954) 979-7124 or email Robyn@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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Financial Literacy Program to Help Children and Families
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