Junior Achievement USA™
For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2011
JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OPERATIONS WIN
INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
JA Worldwide and MetLife
Foundation Reward Cutting-Edge Tools
for Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs around the Globe
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Six Junior
Achievement (JA) operations won MetLife Foundation's 2011 Entrepreneurial Awards
and grants of $25,000 each for outstanding innovation and entrepreneurial
spirit. One JA Area-Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, in Louisville,
Ky.-received an additional $25,000 for exceptional achievement in these areas.
The inaugural MetLife Foundation "Sowing the Seeds of Entrepreneurship" Awards
also were presented to three JA operations. They received grants of $10,000 each
to advance their innovative but untested program concepts. The 2011 winners were
announced on Wednesday at Junior Achievement USATM's National Leadership
Conference held in Boston.
Junior Achievement and MetLife Foundation have partnered for more than 10 years
to honor and expand exemplary entrepreneurship innovations developed by JA
operations around the world.
"MetLife Foundation recognizes the important role that Junior Achievement
operations worldwide play in inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in
a global economy." Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "We
are pleased to join JA in honoring 10 operations whose exemplary innovations and
entrepreneurship are helping them reach more young people with effective,
The top award and $50,000 went to Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana for "JA Real
Jobs, Real World." The program provides high school students with "regionalized"
career exploration tools that feature local universities, employers and
high-demand jobs. Learning is made relevant by showing the connection between
education, income and prospects for the future. The program is designed for easy
Additional 2011 MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial
Award winners include:
Junior Achievement Belgium - Flemish, "Vlajo
An innovative online game for students 14 and
older, the program inspires and teaches entrepreneurship. Each player has to get
a loan, rent a shop, buy and sell products, and function in a "plaza" of other
stores. The teacher controls and evaluates the process. The game makes economics
both attractive and interactive.
Junior Achievement Colombia, "Enterprising Camps
Targeting disadvantaged young people (ages15-17),
the project encompasses five residential enterprise camps that inspire students
to hone their skills and create their own opportunities. The innovative program
intervenes at a critical stage in students' development, guiding them to raise
their expectations and stay in school. College scholarship, micro-credit and
trade fair competitions engage and help motivate the participants.
Junior Achievement of Georgia, "JA Remote Volunteer
This multi-year pilot is committed to overcoming
logistical barriers to serving students in outlying areas by teaching JA
programs in a virtual, synchronous classroom. JA volunteers and students can
interact from remote locations and experience the same high level of learning
and effectiveness established by the traditional JA program delivery model.
Junior Achievement Paraguay, JA Enterprising Women
JA Paraguay's a large-scale, self-sustaining credit
program helps low-income women develop the skills they need to generate income
and contribute to their community's economy. It promotes the creation of
sustainable financial and social services, training and mentorship to help
participants develop self-esteem, solidarity and success.
Junior Achievement - Rocky Mountain, "Advanced
JA partnered with the Public Education and Business
Coalition to develop a volunteer training and preparation process that
significantly increases volunteer effectiveness in the classroom, including
integrating personal and professional experience into lesson plans, engaging
diverse and bilingual students, and using JA materials.
Junior Achievement of West Central Florida, "STEM -
TEC Summer Career Institute"
The intensive, five-week program introduces high
school students to STEM careers (high-demand jobs in science, technology,
engineering and math) and empowers work readiness through five JA programs in
combination with technology curricula and job shadowing. The experience assists
students with decision making targeting the transition to college and the
The inaugural MetLife Foundation "Sowing the Seeds
of Entrepreneurship" Award winners are:
Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana,
To answer the call from educators for
technology-based applications for JA lesson implementation, JA will develop
online program supplements and teaching tips that volunteers can access during
classroom sessions. Volunteer training will incorporate hands-on computer and
smart board technology to increase confidence and effectiveness in using the
Junior Achievement of South Dakota, "Reverse Roles
- Students Teaching Parents"
Junior Achievement of Western Kentucky, "Empowering
Girls to Be Entrepreneurial"
"The innovation and creativity these JA operations
have demonstrated show that core JA concepts really do translate to the business
world," said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA
Worldwide. "The winners of this year's awards prove that JA does indeed practice
what it preaches in terms of driving innovation in program delivery and business
processes. Their accomplishments are tangible demonstrations of JA's ability to
empower young people to own their own economic success."
The MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award is a significant way to recognize -
and inspire -innovation across JA through funding current programs promoting
entrepreneurship. MetLife has been a JA partner since 1972 and also supports JA
at the local level through volunteer engagement and board leadership. Building
on its 92-year legacy, Junior Achievement continues to deliver innovation to
inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to carry on MetLife's longstanding
tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation
is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities
worldwide. Through programs focusing on empowering older adults, preparing young
people and building livable communities, MetLife Foundation increases access and
opportunities for people of all ages. Since it was established, MetLife
Foundation has made more than $500 million in grants and $75 million in program
related investments. For more information, visit
About Junior Achievement® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring
and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated
volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school
programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness,
entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 124 individual area operations
reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional
5.8 million students served by operations in 121 other countries worldwide. For
more information, visit