We're pleased to be one of Bechtel’s four Signature Program partners, blending our passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with work-readiness and entrepreneurship education. Through the Building Future Leaders initiative, Bechtel volunteers bring their expertise into the classroom, introducing high-growth career opportunities to young people in Africa, North and South America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.
As a result, one of the most respected engineering and construction companies in the world is not only building the world’s structures, but also the world’s future entrepreneurs and leaders. JA of East Tennessee (USA), for example, serves four of the nine highest-poverty counties in the state, and a persistent request from educators is for positive, career-minded role models with employable skills to spend time with students. With an office in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Bechtel volunteers are uniquely positioned to mentor and encourage students who may have never considered going to college, starting their own companies, or regularly saving and investing a portion of their paychecks.
Lori Wilson, a Bechtel volunteer in Tennessee, sees the impact JA is having on students. “My JA lessons mesh nicely with what they are doing, and they’re always very excited to see me arrive—what a boost, personally! I leave the classroom feeling energized and proud of my company’s involvement.”
Bechtel volunteers also work with students through a wide array of JA programs, including JA Job Shadow, JA Career Success, JA Assembling Your Career, JA Company Program, JA Be Entrepreneurial, JA It’s My Business, JA Economics for Success, JA Our Nation, JA Finance Park, and JA It’s My Future, and they see students benefiting from each unique offering.
“I learned lots of interesting things,” said one UK student. “Like what a field engineer does, and how many people and jobs are involved in making a carton of juice. I never knew it was that many!” That’s how a future engineer gets his or her start.
For more information on Bechtel, visit bechtel.com.
Citi Foundation, one of JA’s largest funders, supports our network on the front lines, as well as behind the scenes, and the results reverberate throughout our network. For nearly three decades, both Citi and Citi Foundation have partnered with JA, both to build our internal capacity and to fund programs that improve the financial-literacy and entrepreneurship skills of young people.
- In MENA, INJAZ Al-Arab and the Citi Foundation partner on Innovation Camps, which are one day, action-packed events that challenge student teams to find innovative solutions to real-world business challenges.
- In Europe, Citi Foundation’s support of the JA Company Programme brings practical entrepreneurial experiences to students in 18 countries. With the mentorship of hundreds of Citi volunteers, the program reached more than 42,000 students last year.
- In the Americas, Citi Foundation renewed funding for the Women for Development program to continue creating better communities in the region. Over the last six years, JA and Citi have reached more than 17,000 women through the program. In addition, new Citi Foundation funding to digitalize programs will allow JA Americas to reach even more students and create more employment opportunities.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, Citi Foundation and JA Nigeria partnered to build digital libraries in secondary schools, facilite financial-literacy and entrepreneurship panel discussions, and work with thousands of students during Global Community Day.
- In Asia Pacific, JA Korea launched Shining Futures, a program that pairs Citi volunteers with low income, vocational-tech high school students, who craft their resumes, practice interview skills, visit a job fair, and attend an intensive, three-day career camp.
- In the United States, thanks to the change-management initiative funded by Citi Foundation, Junior Achievement USA is transforming its operating model to achieve greater depth and scale of the JA student experience. From more digital content and blended learning to a tech-based support system that distributes resources and delivers training, JA USA’s new platform will not only produce better program results and individual support but also provide standardized, measurable outcomes.
In several of our regions, Citi Foundation supports the Company of the Year Remarkable Customer Service Award, which recognizes a student enterprise that excels at passionately creating value for customers. JA is also a beneficiary of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, a global effort to prepare urban youth to thrive economically through grant programs, research, and multi-stakeholder projects.
Citi Foundation’s programmatic support is bolstered by thousands of dedicated Citi volunteers who share their knowledge, experience, and passion with today’s youth. In addition, 60 Citi executives serve on local or regional JA boards, including Francesco Vanni d’Archirafi, CEO, Citi Holdings, who was named the JA Worldwide board chair in 2014.
To find out more about Citi and the Citi Foundation, visit www.citifoundation.com.
JA-Citi News and Stories
FedEx recognizes that a connected world is a better world, and that the young people who embrace global opportunities and connectivity are uniquely positioned to solve the world’s challenges. That’s why FedEx recently launched a new global-giving platform, through FedEx Cares, with an exciting goal: invest $200 million in more than 200 communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver positive change.
Back in 2007, FedEx began sponsoring the annual JA Company of the Year Competition in each of our regions, an event that invites the top student companies from each JA organization to a rigorous competition that includes a written report, stage presentation, trade fair at which they exhibit their products, and panel interview with judges.
Students not only vie for regional JA Company of the Year honors, but also for the prestigious FedEx Access Award, which celebrates JA companies that have the best understanding of global development, international trade, job and business growth, and positive environmental impact.
At each regional competition, students attend the FedEx Access Seminar, during which they discover the power of global connectivity and further develop their business ideas to be innovative, sustainable, socially responsible, and ready to tap new markets. Additional JA students are mentored through FedEx Cares volunteers, who visit classrooms around the world to deliver JA programs that focus on our three pillars: financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.
Not all FedEx Cares interactions happen in the classroom, however: driver Denny Hamlin proudly featured the JA Worldwide logo on his race car and created a video about JA’s work, thereby introducing JA to new audiences that are as-yet unfamiliar with our programs and impact.
FedEx funding also allows us to feature past JA Company of the Year participants and FedEx Access Award winners in our 100 Lives photo and video documentaries. Cindy Jazmin Amaya Gomez, CEO of Chocolovers, for example, credits her experience in JA Company Program as her engine for personal growth. Through her Chocolovers profits, Cindy paid for four years of college and earned a degree from El Salvador University in Educational Sciences.
Likewise, Nick Kee, CEO of Jamaica-based Plastato and a FedEx Access Award winner at the JA Americas Company of the Year Competition, combined science and business to produce 3-D printed jewelry made from organic, environmentally friendly, and 100% biodegradable potatoes, instead of from plastic. Nick says his winning the FedEx Access Award inspired him to seek out more entrepreneurial opportunities.
For more information about FedEx, visit about.fedex.com.
Every indicator suggests that starting financial-literacy training early in life leads to significantly more responsible financial decisions later. Thanks to a worldwide partnership with HSBC, JA More than Money offers money-management skills that students begin learning as early as third grade.
Led by HSBC volunteers, JA More than Money follows six steps to financial literacy and entrepreneurship, ranging from managing a bank account, saving for the future, and practicing smart spending to developing a positive work ethic, exploring business opportunities, and building a business.
The results are impressive: In the eight years since the program began, 8,200 HSBC volunteers have mentored half a million students in more than 30 developed and developing countries. HSBC mentors participate in interactive discussions, play games, and introduce online tools with their students.
Dermot Powell, an HSBC volunteer in Ireland, has worked with JA More than Money for several years. “What brings me back and makes it worthwhile,” he says, “is to see the untapped entrepreneurial genius of children and how the program helps nurture that.”
Chahinez Mellak, an HSBC volunteer in Algeria, agrees. “What an amazing experience I had when teaching kids and initiating them to basic financial knowledge! It was an opportunity for offering and sharing moments with them.”
In addition to JA More than Money, JA and HSBC recently made headlines by turning a classroom into an international market to drive home the need for JA Global Marketplace, a new blended-learning program sponsored by HSBC Bank USA, that helps middle-school students increase their global competence.
The digital course includes seven interactive lessons that allow students to more deeply understand how they’re affected by the global job market, global trade, currency exchange, and more.
To learn more about HSBC, visit hsbc.com.
Recent JA-HSBC News
When Johnson & Johnson set out to fix the “leaky pipeline”—a term used to describe the negative social cues that girls and young women receive and internalize about studying and pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math fields—the organization was eager to partner with JA.
It was a great fit, thanks to our global reach in over 100 countries, the millions of girls we already serve around the world, and our work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial-literacy programs that lead to confidence in school and the workplace. Expanding the four traditional STEM fields to also include manufacturing and design (STEM2D), we partnered with FHI360, another NGO, to create the STEM2D Resource Guide for volunteers.
Nine hands-on, multi-channel activities accompany the STEM2D Resource Guide. JA designed and created an interactive, responsive website to house the materials in one place, in both printable and digital formats.
To date, over 100 J&J employee mentors have accessed the STEM2D resources during the pilot program, using the materials to engage young people through pilot sites in the United States, Europe, and Africa.
After comprehensive review of the pilot year, the J&J STEM2D initiative will focus on reaching a million girls and young women by 2020 by tapping into their creative problem-solving skills and engaging them in collaborative learning opportunities.
But the program’s goals are not only about the next four years; they’re about the next forty: creating a conduit through which a generation of women will view STEM2D as exciting and viable fields, with long-term career potential.
To find out more about Johnson & Johnson, visit jnj.com.
For more than 30 years, JA, MetLife Foundation, and MetLife volunteers have partnered to provide young people with the knowledge, experiences, and mentoring they need to succeed.
- In Brazil the Personal Economics Project, funded by MetLife Foundation, teaches budgeting, managing finances, and using credit wisely, Another program—the MetLife Project—introduces students to lessons about the labor market, education, and leadership.
- In China, the MetLife Foundation funds JA Our World, which teaches 5,500 young people about international trade, the interdependence of countries, and how enterprises contribute to the global economy. In spite of the complexity of these topics, over 95% of students who take the course find it “very interesting or easy to understand.”
- With support from MetLife Foundation and MetLife volunteers, JA Poland takes a three-pronged approach to preparing older students for their careers. During JA Job Shadow, students spend a day at work with a MetLife volunteer. Through Business at the Board, part of the Open Company Program, students meet with local business people for brainstorming and networking sessions. Through Everyday Economy, MetLife volunteers teach JA students a range of basic-economic topics, like insurance or financial instruments, from scenarios prepared by JA.
- In Bulgaria, MetLife volunteers help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds improve their financial awareness, literacy, and empowerment. Last year, each MetLife volunteer averaged almost 29 hours supporting students and teachers. As a result, students showed an increased interest in learning.
- And in Egypt, middle-school students explored careers in finance and entrepreneurship, while upper-secondary students gained real-world entrepreneur-ship experience through the JA Company Program, supported by MetLife volunteer advisers.
To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.com/about.