Make a Difference - Help Our Youth Build a Brighter Future

Today’s youth have numerous obstacles to overcome. These obstacles include single parent households, violence in schools, obesity and substance abuse. According to the 2014 Employment Characteristics of Families Summary, of the more than 34 million families in the U.S. that have children, families with both parents who are present and working totals 60.2 percent; nearly 70 percent of the mothers in homes without a spouse present work; whereas, 81.9 percent of fathers caring for their children without a spouse work. Although teens are capable of caring for themselves while their parents are working, they still need guidance. Junior Achievement (JA) is a nationwide, non-profit organization that is designed to assist teens in preparing for their future. JA provides teens with the guidance they need with innovative, easy to understand programs and volunteers who teach them how to manage their money, get a job and/or start their own business.

Mentoring Makes a Difference

Rick Sternhagen is the Director of Sales Planning for Sargento foods. He began his journey with JA as a volunteer through his employer. Sternhagen is now an active member of Junior Achievement’s board of directors. He states that he continues working with JA students because he knows sharing his knowledge of business education helps children understand finance and economics. In addition, children learn how to be a leader and can explore the numerous career options available to them. Kids want to succeed and with financial support and volunteers from the Sargento family, they are.

'How to Start Your Own Business' Program

This program helps teens understand the various aspects of starting a business. Students learn that proper preparation increases their chance of starting and succeeding in business. The kid-friendly approach JA uses throughout its programs ensures all content (k-12) is easy to understand.

Mistakes and Failure = Tools for Learning

JA teaches teens that mistakes are inevitable; however, mistakes are to be learned from. Every failure and success help teens with their next endeavor.

Company of the Year Competition

Junior Achievement’s annual Company of the Year competition considers innovation and business skills when choosing a winner. In 2015, nearly 13,000 students aged 15 to 19 years participated in the competition and teens created 700 start-up companies.

Teens Win National Company of the Year Award

A group of teenagers from the Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley created CCA Today, which is a smart phone app designed to connect their campus community. This app provides students with information about schedules and events as well as campus news. The goal of CCA Today was to improve the overall experience for students in the community. On June 24, 2015, the creators of this app, Rachel Gorgas, Madison Moreno, Lorenzo Patino, Hannah Bush and Kinni Fux, received the Junior Achievement’s Company of the Year Award in Washington, D.C.

Whether you are a parent who wants to encourage the implementation of a Junior Achievement Program at your child's school, volunteer for your local Junior Achievement Program or make a donation to JA, your consideration is appreciated. Working together parents, teachers, businesses and volunteers can make a difference by helping our youth build a brighter future.