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Join Us in Supporting the Next Generation

Posted in: Get Involved, JA Impact

Do you believe better begins now?

That everyone deserves a chance?

And that failing isn’t something to fear?

Do you believe that kindness can be a superpower?

That we can accomplish more together than apart?

That while the truth may hurt, it’s a pain we sometimes need to feel?

Do you believe in the indomitable power of perseverance?

That work, hope, and love are four-letter words we should say in front of the kids?

And that education remains the best path forward for most?

 

At Junior Achievement, We Believe This Too

With your help, we can give young people the skills and support they need to achieve their potential and become the best versions of themselves.

We all know the challenges today’s young people face. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly a third of teen boys and more than half of teen girls in the U.S. feel a sense of sadness or hopelessness. While adolescence has always been a challenging time to grow up, the isolating impact of the pandemic, social media, societal dynamics, and shifting economic landscape are putting today’s teens in a more challenging environment than those faced by previous generations.

Of greater concern is that these feelings follow young people into early adulthood. A study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education shows that more than half of 18- to 25-year-olds surveyed said they lacked “meaning or purpose” in their lives, and nearly as many responded that they did not know what to do with their lives. Financial worries, a lack of strong personal relationships, and societal concerns are all contributing factors to mental health challenges faced by young adults.

A lack of purpose. No sense of meaning. A failure to be grounded or supported in a way that helps them navigate the challenges everyone in life faces. It shouldn’t be surprising that many respond to these realities with divisiveness in their lives and skepticism towards institutions like work, money, business, and more.

At Junior Achievement (JA), we believe that better life skills can lead to better lives. According to a summary of third-party research, a sense of being unable to navigate economic realities is a significant contributing factor to the challenges being faced by today’s young people.

 

We Believe We Can Make a Difference

JA works with partners in education and the business communities to help ensure young people make more informed choices that lead to greater work and career satisfaction as adults. We also view financial literacy as “the other literacy.” Just like reading or writing, we all deal with money on a near-daily basis. This requires financial literacy education over multiple grades, not just a one-semester course in high school.

 

What the Research Says

Our approach gives students the tools to increase their chances of achieving economic security as adults. Research results from Ipsos include:

  • 73 percent of JA Alumni who graduated college say they work in a field they studied in college. Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows only 27 percent of college graduates say the same.
  • 69 percent of JA Alumni say they work in their “dream career.” Only 25 percent of Americans say the same, according to MidAmerica Nazarene College.
  • 80 percent of JA Alumni say their careers are “extremely fulfilling.”
  • 82 percent of JA Alumni agree they have a strong financial footing.
  • 68 percent of JA Alumni between the ages of 18 and 29 say they are financially independent of their parents. According to the Pew Research Center, 30 percent of Americans in that age range say the same.
  • The average age JA Alumni report paying off student loans is 30.
  • JA Alumni report purchasing their first home at 29. The National Association of Realtors reports the average age Americans purchase their first home is 36.

Additionally, 4-in-5 JA Alumni credit Junior Achievement for positively impacting their self-confidence, belief-in-self, and sense of purpose; influencing their decisions about further education; influencing their professional and personal development; and motivating them to succeed professionally.

Junior Achievement has a positive impact on the skillsets and mindsets of young people. However, we can’t do it without the support of changemakers like you. If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of young people in your community, volunteer, donate, or discover other ways to get involved with JA.