All posts tagged: united states

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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Understanding the Financial Impact of COVID-19

Presented by Junior Achievement USA

A Guide to How COVID-19 is Affecting People and the Economy and What It All Means

Making Sense of It All

A lot has changed in a very short amount of time. At the beginning of 2020, the U.S. stock market was at an all-time high, the economy was experiencing an historic milestone of growth and things seemed to be going well for many people. Then, the coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared in the United States and in a very short amount of time everything changed.

While things may seem uncertain, and maybe a bit scary, know that what we are experiencing with COVID-19 won’t last forever. We at Junior Achievement (JA) have some explanations about what’s happening, as well as answers to some of your questions when it comes to the financial impact of COVID-19.

What Makes COVID-19 Different from the Flu or a Cold?

COVID-19 is referred to as a “novel”, or new, coronavirus. This means it is new to humans, though it has probably been around in animals, such as bats, for a long time. It is believed that COVID-19 was first transmitted to humans from animals in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Because human immune systems – the human body’s way of fighting disease – haven’t had much experience with COVID-19, people who get it tend to be sicker for longer, though most people will recover from the disease.

To help put COVID-19 into perspective, think of leveling up in a game. If it’s a level you’ve never experienced before, it may be harder and take you longer to beat it. But with enough time, you will win. For most people’s immune systems, COVID-19 is like a new level of a game. Eventually human immune systems will get used to battling COVID-19 and will win more easily, most likely through a combination of vaccines and an increase in natural resistance. But this won’t happen right away.

Click here to read the full report

Understanding the Financial Impact of COVID-19
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Latinos In Action Students Enjoy Volunteer Experience

Junior Achievement of South Florida is honored to have more than 7,000 trained volunteer role models and mentors from the local community to help teach our core principles – entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. These dedicated individuals consist of working and retired business professionals, members of a corporate team, parents, college as well as high school students.

Recently, Monarch High School’s Latinos In Action group volunteered at JA World with the 5th graders from Liberty Elementary who participated at JA BizTown. This is a school that they typically tutor, which is why they came to help them throughout the simulation. Our team then asked their teacher, Christopher Machado, if there was a possibility that these students could come back and help other schools that have a huge need for volunteers. This is how the partnership was formed and has grown extensively in the course of a month.

The group’s mission is “to empower Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness.” It aligns perfectly with JA’s mission of inspiring and preparing youth to succeed in a global economy.

“We are always excited to have large volunteer groups, especially corporate teams, spending a day mentoring students at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion,” said Alexa Diaz, Director of Community Outreach. “But it’s even more special when high school students take the initiative to volunteer. They are our future leaders.”

LIA has volunteered twice in JA BizTown, our engaging, hands on program introducing 5th graders to economic concepts, workplace skills, personal and business finances all in a simulated city built for young students. And, based on their reactions, it will not be the last time they volunteer at JA:

“My experience was fantastic and sensational. I felt great helping the kids getting their tasks done. I would volunteer at JA Biztown anytime.” -Steven Arbelaez, Grade 12

“I had a really fun time meeting the kids and getting to know them, leading them in life was exciting and adventurous.” -Tiffany Melo, Grade 12

“I had a great time at JA BizTown. I loved working with the kids because they were excited to do stuff and show up on ‘TV.’ It was a great experience for me and I made sure to make it a great experience for them as well.” -Angel Delgado, Grade 12

“My experience at JA was amazing and my kids were great! Whenever they needed help, they would come to me and they were really excited about ‘working’ and I made sure they had a good time (one of them gave me chips he was so nice).” -Heyleng Castro, Grade 11

“My experience as a high school volunteer at JA Biztown has been inspirational. I have been lucky to experience this in 5th and 8th grade, and now I get to experience how young children understand the real world. It brings a smile to my face when I see a child able to succeed and I feel very honored to be able to be a part of this wonderful experience.” -Stephanie Vargas, Grade 12

“My experience as a high school student and going to JA BizTown was great! This visit brought me so many memories, I had a good time and I would love to go again and volunteer.” -Michelle Zuniga, Grade 12

Thank you Latinos In Action students from Monarch High School for making a difference in the lives of the students we serve!

CLICK HERE to become a JA volunteer.


Latinos In Action (LIA) offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for Latino students, working from within the educational system to create positive change. Our program operates as a year-long elective course taught by a highly-qualified teacher at the middle school, junior high, and high school level. The end goal of everything we do is to empower Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness. We accomplish this by focusing on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills.

Because of this unique combination, the LIA model has proven effective throughout the United States. Our students go on to successfully complete post-secondary education and earn a livable wage at a higher rate than the national average while continuing to lead and strengthen their communities. In 2015, LIA was awarded the White House Bright Spot for Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Excellence in Hispanic Education.

For more information about Latinos In Action nationwide, visit

Latinos In Action Students Enjoy Volunteer Experience
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