ABOUT THE JA COMPANY Program
In 2020, following years of strong program and organizational growth, Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts brought our organization’s founding program back to our local students. The JA Company Program empowers high school students to solve a problem in their community by building and managing their own start-up business.
This free program can be implemented after-school or in-school and brings together high school students from across our region to form and manage their own company under the mentorship of business professionals and community volunteers. Throughout the process of building their company, students collaborate, make crucial business decisions, communicate with multiple stakeholders, and develop entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.
The JA Company Program addresses topics such as business ethics, teamwork, leadership, and goal-setting, as well as how students should execute the day-to-day operations of their entrepreneurial venture. Over the course of 13 weekly meetings, students elect their own leadership team, develop and execute a business plan, produce and sell a product, hold department meetings to report on their progress, and build relationships with other students and business professionals. With the guidance of their mentors, student participants develop the soft skills they need to be successful in their future academic and career pursuits.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts humbly requests consideration for $50,000 in funding to bring The JA Company Program to youth in our service communities in Fall River, Freetown, Somerset, Swansea, Westport and Rochester.
The goal of the JA Company Program is to improve future economic conditions for local youth, their families, and our region. By invigorating young people across Southern Massachusetts with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, this program will increase their abilities to become stakeholders in their futures, and gain the skills that will allow them to make positive contributions to our community and economy.
Our initial core objective is the delivery of over 32 hours of deep-dive programming to each JA Student Company. Based on the level of funding received, we project to implement three JA Company Program Student Companies across our targeted service communities with each Student Company consisting of 10-15 local students.
While these 32 hours encompass mandatory meeting time amongst the student group and their mentors, throughout each week students spend independent time communicating with their departments and performing the necessary tasks to be completed that week, such as market research, product sales, and more.
Our second core objective is to increase participating students’ understanding of how a business operates, and the many skills needed to make a successful business run.
Our third core objective is to increase students’ confidence in critical soft skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills.
Finally, the JA Company Program serves as a Capstone Experience for our K-12 in-school and out-of school programs across Southern Massachusetts. This program will tie directly to the core teachings of all of our underlying K-12 programs, serve as a graduate experience for JA students and serve as a direct connection to our local youth’s continued academic and career pathways.