Junior Achievement (JA) Jamaica is a registered non-governmental organization and a member nation of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands‐on program. JA’s programs help to prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.
JA Jamaica partners with the Government of Jamaica primarily through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) and a number of public and private sector entities. Through alliances with local and international partners, JA Jamaica seeks to improve Jamaica’s business environment, to empower the country’s youth, enhance civic participation, and spur transformational education through Junior Achievement’s time‐tested and internationally implemented programs.
Select Junior Achievement programs are also taught to deaf/hard‐of hearing students island‐wide. The aim of this initiative is to provide similar workforce development and training opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing Jamaican students as their hearing counterparts.
JA Jamaica reaches over 20,000 students annually in Jamaica and to date has reached over 100,000 youth, as of May 2018.
In 2007, a few GE volunteers from the US travelled to the Rose Hill Primary and volunteered by painting the school, upgrading the lighting and electrical, and donating packages to over 70 students. When discussing future dreams, the young students had limited views of their career aspirations. From this, the idea for starting Junior Achievement was spawned.
In 2008, a pilot sponsored by GE, CIBC First Caribbean, Trelawny Chamber of Commerce and JA Worldwide was implemented at William Knibb Memorial High School with 500 students learning JA Success Skills and JA Careers With A Purpose.
In 2009, the organization was registered. Alphie Mullings-Aiken, the GE employee leading the initiative, took a hybrid sabbatical to move back to Jamaica to start and run the organization as the first President. Partners such as the Ministry of Education and the United States Agency for International Development have committed support to strengthening the organizations capabilities and reach. The Board was formed with the support of Bruce Bowen, former Chairman and President of Scotiabank, as Chairman of the Board for JA Jamaica.
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