Open main menu

JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide is a global non-profit youth organization founded in 1919 by Horace A. Moses, Theodore Vail, and Winthrop M. Crane. JA works with local businesses, schools, and organizations to deliver experiential learning programs on the topics of work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship to students from ages 5 to 25.[1][2][3][4][5]

JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide
Junior Achievement Logo.svg
FoundersTheodore Vail, Horace A. Moses, Winthrop M. Crane
Area served
6.3M (2018)



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.[6]

Following World War II, the organization grew from a regional into a national organization.[7] 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 through which students form companies, sell stocks, produce and market a product, and sell it in their communities and globally. The student companies are mentored by volunteer advisers from the business and tech communities. 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.[7]

Today, JA Worldwide is one of the world's largest organization youth-serving organizations, dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need for employment and entrepreneurship. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. JA annually reaches more than 10 million students in more than 100 countries around the world. Programs are delivered by more than 450,000 JA volunteers.[8]

JA Worldwide has regional offices in Junior Achievement USA, JA Middle East and Africa (INJAZ Al-Arab), JA Europe, JA Asia Pacific, JA Americas, and JA Africa.[8]

Several other organizations have joined JA Worldwide, such as Young Enterprise in the UK, INJAZ in the Middle East, Prestasi Junior in Indonesia, and Vlajo in Belgium.

Notable AlumniEdit

Notable JA alumni include former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, U.S. Congressman Bob Clement, Subway restaurant founder Fred DeLuca, American actor Arte Johnson, journalist Dan Rather, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, comedian Amy Sedaris, and British Labor Party Politician David Lammy.[9][10][11]


JA programs for elementary, middle, high school, and college students are designed to "help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace."[12]

Elementary schoolEdit

  • JA Ourselves (Kindergarten)
  • JA Our Families (Grade 1)
  • JA Our Community (Grade 2)
  • JA More than Money (Grades 3-5)
  • JA Our City (Grade 3)
  • JA Our Region (Grade 4)
  • JA BizTown (Grade 5)
  • JA Our Nation (Grade 5)

Middle schoolEdit

  • JA Economics for Success
  • JA Global Marketplace
  • JA It's My Business!
  • JA It's My Future

High schoolEdit

  • JA Be Entrepreneurial
  • JA Career Success
  • JA Company Program
  • JA Economics
  • JA Exploring Economics
  • JA Finance Park
  • JA Job Shadow
  • JA Launch Lesson
  • JA Personal Finance
  • JA Titan


From its founding in 1919 until 1962, JA was managed by volunteers from the business community. In 1962, the organization hired its first, full-time, paid president.[6]

Leaders of Junior Achievement USA included:

National ConferenceEdit

Beginning in 1944, Junior Achievement organized an annual national conference, known as the National Junior Achievers Conference, NAJAC, to bring together student representatives of local programs to participate in contests. In 1949, the organization began allowing conference delegates to elect national leadership to play an active role contributing to program development, increasing public awareness and supporting fundraising.[6]

From 1944 to 1961, conferences were held in New Jersey, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, before finding a home on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana through the mid-1990s.[6]

National Conference PresidentsEdit

Between 1949 and 1989, 33 teenagers, including 31 boys and 2 girls, were elected by their peers to serve as Junior Achievement's national conference president.[6]

  • 1949 Robert Preston, Chicago, IL
  • 1953 Dick Hagens, Dayton, OH
  • 1954 Roger Alvey, Bridgeport, CT
  • 1955 Donald Smith, South Bend, IN
  • 1956 Patrick Oliver, Detroit, MI
  • 1957 James Turnball, Detroit, MI
  • 1958 William Browder, Bessemer, AL
  • 1959 Michael Redman, Seattle, WA
  • 1960 Robert L. Walker III, Nashville, TN
  • 1961 James Harrington, Chicago, IL
  • 1962 Calvin Scott, Ypsilanti, MI
  • 1963 Michael Hannigan, Jr., South Bend, IN
  • 1965 Mike Arthur, Southeastern, MI
  • 1966 Guy Martin, Birmingham, AL
  • 1967 John Nelson, Houston, TX
  • 1968 Chris Streifender, Warrensville Heights, OH
  • 1969 Rodney Miller, Dallas, TX
  • 1970 Sharion Patterson, Phoenix, AZ
  • 1971 Don Didier, Rockford, IL
  • 1972 James Tompert, Battle Creek, Michigan<>
  • 1975 Rick Talley, Jr., Philadelphia, PA
  • 1976 Gene Musser, Willow, PA
  • 1977 David Harris, Cambridge, MA
  • 1978 Stuart Baum, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • 1979 Seth Eisenberg, Falls Church, VA
  • 1980 Michael Liss, Cincinnati, OH
  • 1981 John Tipton, Louisville, KY
  • 1982 Michael Bishop, Jacksonville, FL
  • 1983 Richard Titsworth, Sylvania, OH
  • 1984 Dennis Lemenager, Worcester, MA
  • 1986 Jeff Brown, Machensey Park, IL
  • 1987 William Harper, Watson, AL
  • 1988 Laura Donohue, Santa Clara, CA
  • 1989 Dan Chapman, Lexington, KY


  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. ^ Wagner, Jodie (16 November 2012). "Junior Achievement program teaches Jupiter students life skills". The Palm Beach Post.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Junior Achievement Records, 1916-2002, Ruth Lilly Special Collections & Archives". Indiana University. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Francomano, Joe (1988). Junior Achievement: A History. Colorado Springs, CO: Junior Achievement Inc.
  8. ^ a b "JA Worldwide Locations". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Junior Achievement 100". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Junior Achievement Looking to Re-Connect with Former Students". Junior Achievement. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  12. ^ "JA Programs". Retrieved 30 April 2018.

External linksEdit