All posts tagged: South Florida

Junior Achievement Fills the Gap From Education to Employment

For Immediate Release 

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

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

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) is looking for South Florida businesses to host 150 JA trained interns for the summer of 2021. The overall goal 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 program, a cutting-edge, skills-building leadership program for high school students to learn the skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce. The program 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. 

I would like to say thank you to Junior Achievement, first and foremost, for helping me get the internship at WinterFest. This was my very first experience in a job. I don’t think I will ever be able to get similar advice or have a similar experience anywhere else,” said Phara Sylvain, summer employee. 

Running from June to Augustthe 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 pays the wages for each intern in the program. 

“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. 

This past summer, JA’s Summer Employment Program was a success. It placed 52 students in jobs with 27 companies. The employers had a 100% positive feedback about the program and 80% of the internships were extended from three to five weeks. In addition, three of the students were hired by the company upon completion of their internship. 

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 PelusoCenturic. 

For more information on how you can host a trained student intern contact Anna Khaver, Youth Employment Manager, at (954) 979-7106 or email 

 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 Follow JA on social media @jasouthflorida. 



Junior Achievement Fills the Gap From Education to Employment
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This 17-Year-Old Entrepreneur Is Helping To Make Travel Germ-Free

Forbes, October 5, 2020
By Lois Alter Mark 

When 17-year-old Henry Hurowitz fell asleep on an airplane tray table and woke up with a severe rash on his face, he was determined to find out what happened and started doing research.

It turns out that the germs on those tray tables last way longer than the snacks and beverages they hold, and Hurowitz decided to do something about it.

And that was before the pandemic hit.

He and his Junior Achievement of South Florida club members created Germ Genie™, a travel kit filled with TSA-compliant essentials for staying germ-free, including tray table placemats which have become their signature item – and which have become even more important since COVID-19.

Here’s what Hurowitz has to say about making germ-free travel simple and accessible to everyone.

Germ Genie™ is such a great idea. How did it come about?

After falling asleep on an airplane tray table in July 2019, I woke up with a terrible rash on my face. I looked into it and was shocked to discover that they are actually eight times dirtier than a toilet flush button. Studies show that tray tables have contained cold viruses, human parainfluenza viruses, norovirus, the superbug MRSA and, most recently, COVID-19. But there were very limited solutions, which led to the idea of the Airplane Tray Table Placemat.
This 17-Year-Old Entrepreneur Is Helping To Make Travel Germ-Free
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In Memory of Rick Case

Dear Friends,

On September 21st, the community lost one of Florida’s most innovative leaders and courageous businessmen, Rick Case. While building his automotive empire, Rick Case Automotive Group, along with his wife Rita, Rick always found time to support the community personally and also advocated on their behalf to get others involved. He supported so many organizations including Junior Achievement of South Florida.

Rick and Rita were inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2006 (video below) in recognition of their significant impact in their industry and community. Rick embodies the very values Junior Achievement teaches young people and was an outstanding role model not only for his own children, but did thousands of others.

Something we can all learn from Rick is to be passionate, get involved and take risks. As you drive around South Florida you may see the legacy of Rick, physically, through the establishments of his dealerships, but you will also see the legacy and deep mark he left on our community. He will always be remembered here at Junior Achievement. Our thoughts go out to Rita and the Case family.

Junior Achievement of South Florida

In Memory of Rick Case
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Sun Sentinel June 2020: Comerica Gift of Knowledge Scholarship

Bank Awards Dillard High Senior Gift of Knowledge Scholarship

By Mary Lou Cruz, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Comerica Bank Florida recently presented Junior Achievement of South Florida Fellow Shatasia Daniels with its $1,000 Gift of Knowledge scholarship during a virtual presentation. The award supports a deserving graduating senior who plans to pursue a business degree in college or as a budding entrepreneur during the COVID-19 pandemic. Daniels is a member of the Dillard High School class of 2020 who will attend Florida State University in the fall. She is the first recipient of this scholarship in the state.

The JA Fellows company program is an in-depth and highly intensive leadership and entrepreneurship opportunity for high school students. Participants gain real-world business experience where they learn how to conceptualize, capitalize and manage their own small business.

According to Junior Achievement, graduating students are often inadequately prepared to participate in a meaningful way to their community’s success because they lack basic skills such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking. Also, financial literacy is not mandatory or even offered in some traditional education systems; therefore, young people need the tools to make sound financial decisions once they enter the workforce.

Sun Sentinel June 2020: Comerica Gift of Knowledge Scholarship
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Support Restaurants and Beverage Providers During COVID-19

Funky Buddha Brewery giving back to the community. JA celebrates supportive restaurants.

Junior Achievement of South Florida and the JA Circle of Wise Women are fortunate to have developed outstanding relationships with local restaurants and beverage providers who support our programs as storefronts in JA BizTown and at the annual JA World Uncorked event. Now, it’s time to give back to those who are providing delivery or take-out services during COVID-19. Below are logos linked to the restaurants.

In addition, JA is extremely proud of its partnership with Funky Buddha Brewery, which last year released the exclusive Dreamers of Dreams, a craft beer dedicated to JA’s 60th Anniversary. Funky Buddha has started a new project during the COVID-19 crisis – Beers For The Biz. The project brings aid and awareness to family in the service industry affected by COVID-19. Proceeds from each case of Funky Buddha beer sold in April will be donated to CORE™: CHILDREN OF RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving food and beverage service employees with children, who are faced with medical diagnosis, illness, injury or affected by a natural disaster and are in need of help.

Click here to learn more about this project.


Support Restaurants and Beverage Providers During COVID-19
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JA Business Hall of Fame Postponed

Junior Achievement’s highest priority is the health and safety of our donors, sponsors, partners, honorees, staff and volunteers.  It is with this priority in mind that we have decided to postpone the 2020 JA Business Hall of Fame event on Friday April 24, 2020.This decision is in line with the directive issued by Broward County regarding high attendance gatherings.

We look forward to bringing our business leaders together in the near future to recognize the visionary leadership of our Hall of Fame Laureates and Honorees and, in light of these challenging times, to celebrate the collective courage and resilience of all our community’s leaders.

We would like to take this time to thank all those who support this event each year and the mission of Junior Achievement to prepare our young people to be your next consumers, employees, business owners and job creators. Junior Achievement will continue to play its part in driving workforce training and experience for young people. We hope that all of you will plan to join us on the new date for a well deserved celebration!

Junior Achievement of South Florida’s leadership will continue to monitor the COVID19 situation as it evolves. We encourage you to visit the JA Business Hall of Fame webpage ( to check on the status of the event.

If you have any additional questions or need further information, please contact me at or Robyn Harper, Development & Event Director, at or call (954) 979-7124.  We look forward to celebrating with you soon to empower over 50,000 young people each year to own their economic success.


JA Business Hall of Fame Postponed
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Go Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale: JA World Uncorked


JA World Uncorked Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Culinary Signature Event

By Rose Faraone
December Go Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

JA World Uncorked – one of South Florida’s favorite culinary events – started just over 10 years ago. Back in 2009, a group of 10 women joined together to create a fundraiser for Junior Achievement of South Florida’s educational programs. That group of 10 women is now the Circle of Wise Women and has grown to more than 100 strong.


Go Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale: JA World Uncorked
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Top Soft Skills in the 21st Century Workplace

By Hannah Henry, Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Brand
Junior Achievement USA

City & Guilds CEO, Chris Jones, once said, “Unfortunately, some people believe that soft skills aren’t that important. However, almost every employer I’ve ever talked to about this disagrees. In a world where job roles are changing rapidly, soft skills will be one of the few constants…” When you think about all of the new colleagues you have met over the years, the teams you’ve worked on, and the challenges you’ve faced within your business, soft-skills are at the heart of it all.

While some might argue that soft skills hold lesser value to a business, a report from International Association of Admin Professionals, OfficeTeam and reveals 67% of HR managers reported they would hire a candidate with strong soft skills, even if his or her technical skills were lacking. Why might this be? Employees with strong soft skills have the ability to grow and flourish in any environment due to the fact that they have experience and interpersonal skills that make adapting easier than those who lack such skills.

Soft skills include communications, listening, and emotional perceptivity, such as empathy and sympathy. These skills tend to reside in personal attributes, personality, and character traits, and social cues picked up throughout one’s life. These skills allow people to connect with one another by effectively “reading” those they interact with. These are not skills that are learned in a short period of time, instead, they are acquired, tuned, and even perfected throughout experiences and time.

Building Soft Skills in the Workplace

Research from the Hay Group identified managers that incorporate a range of “soft talent”, those with soft skills, in their leadership approach have been shown to increase their team performance by about 30%. Through the survey work of LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates, it was determined: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management were the 5 most in-demand soft skills sought by companies in 2019. How can a company harness these skills in their workplace? The answer is not to find new candidates to fill positions. Training in these areas is available. In fact, research from MIT Sloan determined that soft skills training may improve productivity within an organization. Findings also included that such training returned roughly 250% on investment within eight months post-study.

Finding Candidates with Soft Skills

Hard skills or technical skills are easier to identify when meeting a potential employee. For the most part, the candidate will include their experience and hard skills on their resume, as well as mention them in an interview. Soft skills are not so easy to identify. When you’re looking at a possible candidate for a position, most employers are looking to ensure a person can do the job at hand. They want to have the reassurance that this individual can handle the complexity of the workload and complete crucial projects. But by focusing on only this skillset, also known as “hard skills”, employers are overlooking the underlying skills that determine how a candidate will interact with those around them, be able to connect with their peers, managers, and even clients. Not everyone develops soft skills at the same pace, but experience assists with the development. More experience can equate to building stronger skills at a faster pace compared to those who have not stayed within a position or a company for long.

Interview Questions to Ask

LinkedIn revealed that only 60% of hiring managers agree that screening for soft skills is tough, but crucial as it will determine how new hires will be able to interact with your team. The professional networking platform identified 6 key soft skills and questions to ask to decode how a candidate’s level of soft skills.

1.  Adaptability

Ask the candidate to discuss a time when they were asked to do something they haven’t done before, how they reacted and what they learned.

2.  Culture Fit

Explore what the interviewee is looking for in a job by asking what three things are most important to them in a position or workplace environment.

3.  Collaboration

Have the candidate give examples of when they had to work with someone who was challenging to work with, how they handled working with this particular individual, and what the outcome was.

4.  Leadership

Ask the interviewee to discuss when something significant didn’t go according to plan at work, what was their role in the project or task, and the final result.

5.  Growth Potential

Have the candidate discuss how they handled a crisis or problem when their manager was unavailable and who they consulted with to determine the solution.

6.  Prioritization

Ask the interviewee to tell you about a time when they had to juggle several projects at the same time, how they were able to manage their time and the final result.

To learn more about how students can develop their soft skills to prepare for the workforce, check out JA Career Success®!

In addition, Junior Achievement of South Florida offers its program JA Career Bound to high school students in South Florida. JA Career Bound is a cutting-edge, skills-building leadership program where participants learn the skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce.

After an opening retreat, students meet once a month for program days focused on specific industries. Students visit some of South Florida’s premier businesses to learn firsthand about the career opportunities and what companies are looking for in future employees. Students learn from top executives who share their journeys to success.

We use interactive JA curriculum to teach key work skills, including communication, critical thinking, goal setting, interviewing, personal branding, problem-solving, public speaking, resume building and teamwork. At the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to put their skills into action by participating in various paid internships with job shadowing. For further details, including registration, CLICK HERE

Top Soft Skills in the 21st Century Workplace
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South Florida Business & Wealth July 2019: Students Offer Consulting Services

South Florida Business and Wealth July 2019: JA’s Entrepreneurial Students Offer Consulting Services

By Sally Ann O’Dowd
July 2019 Issue

From learning the ropes of supply chain management to studying the latest in big data, Geomani Brooks was not a typical high school graduate. His evening routine of researching companies likewise showed exceptional rigor for his age.

But such are the interests and habits Brooks developed during his two years in Junior Achievement of South Florida, as a junior and senior at South Broward High School. From there, he earned a 2018 summer internship at City Furniture, whose president, Andrew Koenig, is a JA board member.

“I was shadowing the global logistics team for two months,” recalls Brooks, who will enter his sophomore year at Broward College in the fall. “Each day , I would shadow a different person, and learn how they do things as individuals and as a team. It was amazing, how much went into sourcing fabrics; they were very aware of where they got products from and child labor laws. That was one of the first questions I asked them.”

South Florida Business & Wealth July 2019: Students Offer Consulting Services
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JA Diamond Anniversary Raises $600,000 for Programs

Junior Achievement of South Florida held its JA Diamond Anniversary Celebration, presented by Delta Air Lines, on Friday, April 5th, at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion. The unforgettable evening celebrated Junior Achievement of South Florida’s 60-year legacy of inspiring 1 million youth in Broward and south Palm Beach counties. A special part of the evening was inducting the 2019 JA Business Hall of Fame Laureates and honoring two outstanding community leaders.

Congratulations Laureates: Jim Allen, Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming; Bob Birdsong, OK Generators; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises; and Steve Sadaka, StevenDouglas; 2019 Melissa Aiello Character Award recipient Lori Chevy, Bank of America; and 2019 Huizenga Lifetime Legacy Award recipient Lorraine Thomas.

Guests enjoyed a stroll down the “Hall of Fame” featuring past Laureates and a timeline of JA’s 60 year history. Some of the highlights of the evening were the Red Carpet Experience provided by DEX Imaging, a cocktail reception in the Celebrity Cruises Diamond Lounge, a Champagne Toast offered by TD Bank, selfies with our sponsor Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, lobster tail and tenderloin filet dinner, dessert and coffee stations with dancing to music by The W’s and valet services sponsored by JM Lexus and JM Family Enterprises Inc.

“On behalf of the 1 million students served to date, we would like to thank our sponsors, supporters and all attendees who shared this special evening with us. It was a huge success, raising over $600,000 for JA programming that inspires and prepares young people for the future. Thank you,” Laurie Sallarulo, President & CEO.

JA Diamond Anniversary Raises $600,000 for Programs
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