Non-Profit Spotlight: Junior Achievement of the Heartland

jaWe recently had the opportunity to talk with Kyle Wehr, the Development Director for Junior Achievement of the Heartland. Kyle let us in on how Junior achievement works and some of the events they partake in. Check out this non-profit spotlight on a great non-profit in our community!

What exactly is Junior Achievement (JA)?
We are a non-profit that provides financial literacy and workforce readiness programs for K-12 students while encouraging the entrepreneur spirit. We cover about 24 counties in the heartland.

ja1How does it work?
Essentially, we get volunteers from the business community and they administer programs to classrooms that are already set up through public schools and private schools. The volunteers teach the students in a 35-45 minute session that lasts for about 6 sessions.

Are there any Junior Achievement facilities set up externally from the schools that children can attend?
There is an opportunity for students to go to the JA World Facility that is in Davenport, IA. They can attend one of two programs, Biztown and JA Finance Park. They get to emulate real-world situations at these classes, for example, at Biztown they can see how living in a city operates. They get pay checks and have to manage their checks and balance their money just like it would be in a real life scenario.

DSC_0537 Do the schools get a hold of Junior Achievement, or is it the other way around, to set up these classes for their students?
A little bit of both. Initially, we contact the schools to get the programs in the schools. Since we’ve been around for awhile, the schools that we’ve worked with will get in contact with us to set up future sessions because they see the benifit and want JA in their classrooms.

Are there any prerequisites for the children to attend these classes?
No, it’s through the schools themselves that set up the class for students.

When someone decides to make a donation to Junior Achievement, what do the donations go towards?
The investments go towards the costs associated to set up the programs.

Thank you very much for the interview, we are to have such great non-profit in our community!

To find out more about Junior Achievement and/or to donate, visit their website:

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