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Junior Achievement (also JA or JA Worldwide) is a non-profit youth organization founded in 1919 by Horace A. Moses, Theodore Vail, and Winthrop M. Crane. Junior Achievement works with local businesses and organizations to deliver experiential programs on the topics of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to students in kindergarten through high school.[1][2][3][4]

Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement Logo.svg
Founded 1919
Founder Theodore Vail, Horace A. Moses, Winthrop M. Crane
Type 501c3
Area served


Boys' and Girls' Bureau of the Eastern States League was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1919 to help educate young people moving from rural America to the country's booming cities about the means of production and free enterprise. The following year, the organization's name was changed to the Junior Achievement Bureau. The name was modified in 1926 to Junior Achievement, Inc.[5]

Following World War II, the organization grew from a regional into a national organization.[6] In the 1960s, JA began its growth into an international organization.[7]

For more than 50 years, the organization was known mostly for the JA Company Program, an after-school program where teens formed student companies, sold stocks, produced a product and sold it in their communities. The student companies were overseen by volunteer advisers from the business community. In 1975, Junior Achievement introduced its first in-school program, Project Business, featuring volunteers from the local business community teaching middle school students about business and personal finance.[8]

Today, 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. JA annually reaches 4.8 million students in more than 100 markets across the United States. Programs are delivered by more than 237,000 Junior Achievement volunteers.[9] Globally, JA Worldwide reaches 10.6 million students in 117 countries.[10]

Today, Junior Achievement Worldwide has regional offices in Junior Achievement USA, JA Middle East and Africa (INJAZ Al-Arab), JA YE Europe, JA Asia Pacific, JA Americas, and JA Africa.[11]

Several other organizations have joined Junior Achievement, such as Vlajo in Belgium.


  1. ^ Daley, Suzanne (28 November 1990). "New World for Junior Achievement". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Singer, Penny (18 May 1997). "For Junior Achievers, Volunteers Are Key". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Heath, Thomas (13 May 2012). "Value Added: This English major prefers the language of money". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Duchon, Dennis; Green, Stephen G.; Taber, Thomas D. (1 January 1986). "Vertical dyad linkage: A longitudinal assessment of antecedents, measures, and consequences". Journal of Applied Psychology. 71 (1): 56–60. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.71.1.56. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Junior Achievement Records, 1916-2002". Indiana University. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Francomano, Joe (1988). Junior Achievement: A History. Colorado Springs, CO: Junior Achievement Inc. p. 153.  "Chapter 12. Impressive Growth, Impressive Quality in the 50s."
  7. ^ Francomano, Joe (1988). Junior Achievement: A History. Colorado Springs, CO: Junior Achievement Inc. p. 153. "Chapter 14. Growth in Enrollment, Quality, and Leadership."
  8. ^ Francomano, Joe (1988). Junior Achievement: A History. Colorado Springs, CO: Junior Achievement Inc. p. 153. 
  9. ^ "Junior Achievement Sparks Student Success". Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "What Is Junior Achievement?". Archived from the original on 25 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "JA Worldwide Locations". Retrieved 26 May 2015. 

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