Junior Achievement of Arizona (JAAZ) has won a 2010 MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award and $25,000 grant for demonstrating outstanding innovation and entrepreneurial spirit through the JA You’re Hired! program. JAAZ and MetLife Foundation have teamed up for the past 10 years to honor the practice of key JA curriculum concepts – entrepreneurship and innovation – at local office levels and to provide funds to expand those efforts.
Eight JA offices worldwide – five U.S. and three international offices – each received a $25,000 grant from MetLife Foundation for demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit and delivering innovation in current JA programs. All winners were recognized at Junior Achievement’s USA National Leadership Conference in Minneapolis.
“MetLife Foundation and Junior Achievement share a commitment to preparing young people to succeed in the global economy,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “We are pleased to join JA Worldwide in honoring JAAZ for its exemplary work in putting young people on the path to success.”
“Junior Achievement of Arizona takes pride in being recognized as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship by the MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award,” said Joyce Richards, president of JAAZ. “By demonstrating real life ways to utilize innovation in the work place, we show our students practical uses for the lessons they’re learning and how they’re relevant for the future.”
JA You’re Hired! gives high school students a chance to learn, hone and apply skills such as resume writing, interviewing, business networking and public speaking. This spring, the JA You’re Hired! Challenge presented by University of Phoenix brought together nearly 300 students from 16 public, private and charter schools for a day filled with competitive events and professional development workshops. In its second year, the program engaged over 200 business volunteers, featured Sherri Elliott-Yeary author of Ties to Tattoos, and offered seven summer internships in conjunction with partners such as the Apollo Group, PSCU Financial Services and UPS and received rave reviews from students and teachers alike.
“The innovation and creativity that JA of Arizona has demonstrated through the JA You’re Hired! program shows that those core JA concepts really do translate to the business world,” said Jack Kosakowski, president chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. “The winners of this year’s award have proven the skills taught in JA programs are the same skills required to succeed later in life.”
The MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award is a significant way to recognize – and inspire – innovation across JA through funding those programs exemplifying entrepreneurship. MetLife has been a JA partner since 1972 and also supports JA at the local level through volunteer engagement and board leadership.
For more information about Junior Achievement of Arizona, please visit www.jaaz.org.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support health, education, civic and cultural programs. The Foundation has supported JA programs since 1979. In addition to sponsoring the Entrepreneurial Award since 2001, the Foundation has provided major funding for development and implementation of JA Exploring EconomicsTM, a program that teaches high school students fundamental economic concepts. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.
About Junior Achievement of Arizona
Junior Achievement is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which believes that every child deserves an education in economics and finances in order to inspire and prepare them for success in a global economy.
Serving Arizona’s youth since 1957, JA prepares young people for the real world by showing them how to become self sufficient, how to create jobs which make their communities robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.
Junior Achievement of Arizona reached nearly 80,000 students during the 2009-2010 school year.
For more information on Junior Achievement or ways to get involved, please call 480-377-8500 or visit www.jaaz.org.
About JA Worldwide
Junior Achievement has been promoting the ideals of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workplace readiness for almost a century. JA Worldwide reaches approximately 9.8 million students per year in nearly 380,000 classrooms and after-school locations. JA programs are taught in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the United States of America and in 100 other countries around the world.
The JA mission is supported by nearly 330,400 classroom volunteers around the world, from all walks of life, including business people, college students, parents, and retirees. The hallmark of the organization has always been providing children with positive adult role-models, who illustrate ways to build self-confidence, develop skills and find avenues of success in the American economic system.