Date: 04/01/2009

Junior Achievement Program


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

07:38 AM -- Junior Achievement Program

Robin Wise, president and CEO of Junior Achievement - Rocky Mountains Inc. (JA), introduced the presenters and board members in attendance at the meeting and shared a handout with committee members (Attachment A). Ms. Wise shared her experience as a participant in the JA program in high school, in addition to the history of the JA program. She explained that the three pillars of the program are: work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. She noted that JA will be assisting the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) in developing the financial literacy content standards that were established by the General Assembly in 2008.


07:44 AM

Ms. Wise explained that there are JA programs available in grades kindergarten through 12, reaching 113,000 students in 700 schools. She explained that JA does not select kids, but rather the organization partners with teachers. She also discussed the independent program evaluation and the JA Hispanic Initiative.

07:49 AM

She explained that JA commissioned a study as part of the Hispanic Initiative and shared the findings from the study. Dave Markham, JA board member and President of Commercial Launch Services at Lockheed Martin, stressed the importance of global competitiveness in the workplace. He noted during the next 10 years, 60 percent of the workforce will be eligible for retirement. He noted that the exchange between teachers and students in the JA classroom is where the connection is made for students to the real world. He also discussed the entrepreneurial competition that JA hosts each year.

07:54 AM

Robin Heller, JA board member and CIO/COO for Western Union, discussed the importance of entrepreneurship in Western Union's viability and of matching Western Union with community organizations that share a common mission. She shared her experiences with students who have participated in the JA program.

07:58 AM

Representative Solano asked if the programs are spread out across the grade levels, or concentrated at a particular grade level. Ms. Wise replied that about 75,000 students in the JA program are in grades kindergarten through sixth. Representative Solano asked if the program is requested by schools or teachers. Ms. Wise explained that either teachers or schools may request it, and the program is offered to schools for free because the business community pays for the program. Representative Todd shared that she used the JA program in her seventh grade class. She noted the benefits for the volunteer teachers and the students.

08:04 AM

Ms. Wise explained the importance of relevant curriculum for students. Representative Peniston shared her experience with having JA programs in her classroom and that her son participated in the JA program as a teacher. Ms. Wise noted that JA can be a partner in the implementation of the financial literacy standards, and that JA needs more volunteers. Senator Heath asked what has changed over the years for JA and how it impacts the program. Ms. Wise replied that the urgency of what JA is doing has changed, and the recognition for the need of this type of learning, especially with the state of the economy.

08:07 AM

Representative Murray shared her experience as a JA teacher, and asked what JA is doing with CDE. Ms. Wise replied that JA has been placed on subcommittees for content standard development at the department. Representative Gagliardi explained that her sons participated in JA, and asked whether JA would be able to come to town hall meetings. Ms. Wise replied that JA wants to be a resource to the constituents in the members' districts.