All posts tagged: JA USA

Why JA? And Why Now?

Why JA? And Why Now?
A Response to the Uncertainty and Inequity Facing Gen Z

By Junior Achievement USA

Growing Up in a Time of Uncertainty

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis has impacted everyone. But it has been particularly challenging for women, African-Americans and Hispanics, those lacking education beyond high school, and, most notably, the young. Generation Z, including the class of 2020, has been dubbed the” Pandemic Generation,” and the “Lockdown Generation.” This is due to the sudden and dramatic decline of economic opportunity for those graduating high school and college amidst a historic pandemic. There are already concerns that if something isn’t done to bolster its prospects soon, Generation Z is at risk of becoming a “lost generation,” illprepared to achieve its potential in a world that is already challenging to navigate for the young.

Confronting Inequity

At the same time, economic inequity has been a reality in the U.S. throughout its history, but it continues to this day. For instance, research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows 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. For example, in 1970, 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 also shows that the median net worth of white families in America is ten times greater than that of black families. Other research shows that the overall wealth gap more than doubled between America’s richest and poorest families between 1989 and 2016.

At this moment, this generation’s perceptions of our country and what it stands for are being shaped in ways that will define their entire lives. The question is, will those perceptions be of hope, opportunity, and unlimited possibilities? Or will they be something else entirely. To ensure the former, this means addressing the uncertainty and inequity in our country. Undoubtedly, there are substantial systemic changes that need to happen that are beyond the mission of an organization like Junior Achievement. These changes need to occur on the legislative, legal, and policymaking fronts, and they appear to be taking place. The hope is these changes will once and for all eliminate structural barriers to progress for everyone aspiring to reach their potential in this country.

Why JA? And Why Now?
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JA Receives Two Distinguished National Awards

For Immediate Release
March 12, 2109

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

Junior Achievement of South Receives Two Distinguished National Awards for Top Performance

City of Coconut Creek, Florida—Junior Achievement of South Florida has been awarded, for the first time in its 60 year history, the Peak Performance Team Award. This award recognizes superior annual performance by a JA Area team in achieving growth in students reached or contact hours delivered, while sustaining financial and operational soundness. The nonprofit organization was one of 17 JA Areas (out of 107 total) to earn the 2017-18 Peak Performance Team Award.

“Junior Achievement of South Florida has been focused on creating deep impact programming that meets the needs of its local school district, employers and community organizations. In addition, the organization has worked hard to build its brand awareness and credibility. Congratulations to Laurie Sallarulo and the entire team,” said Jack Kosakowski, JA USA President & CEO.

In addition, for the second year in a row, Junior Achievement of South Florida received one of Junior Achievement USA®’s (JA USA) highest ratings: the 4 Star Award. The purpose of the Star Award is to recognize staff and boards of JA Areas that meet Junior Achievement’s national standards in operational efficiency. Recipients must demonstrate growth in student impact and superior fiscal performance. Achievement against these criteria is certified through JA USA and audited financial statements.

In 2017-18, Junior Achievement of South Florida served nearly 47,000 students in Broward and south Palm Beach counties. The number of combined hours of impactful instruction provided to students was a record 1,050,975. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of a record-breaking 7,150 volunteers and mentors. In addition, Junior Achievement of South Florida will reach a significant milestone this year, its 60th anniversary, of serving 1 million students since its inception in 1959.

“These accomplishments cannot be achieved without an exceptional team, dedicated Board of Directors, our partners, teachers, the thousands of volunteers and business mentors and our donors, who truly believe in our mission of inspiring and preparing youth to succeed in a global economy,” said Laurie Sallarulo, President/CEO. “We set very ambitious goals for the organization, and we’ve worked hard to achieve these milestones and to be honored for our dedication and teamwork. We are dedicated to being part of the solution to the workforce challenge.”

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

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in over 100 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit for more information.


JA Receives Two Distinguished National Awards
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