Junior Achievement Receives $100,000 Grant From American Student Assistance to Support JA Inspire

Career Pathways Program to Reach 9,000 Eighth-Grade Students in Rhode Island

JA Inspire Dec 2018a.jpg

Warwick, Rhode Island – Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) announced today that they have received a $100,000 grant from American Student Assistance® (ASA) to support their JA Inspire career pathways program. JA Inspire, which is planned to reach 9,000 Rhode Island eighth-graders next month, was developed to help support the Governor’s Workforce Board’s – PrepareRI action plan, which is “a commitment by the State of Rhode Island to improve the career readiness and postsecondary attainment of all Rhode Island youth to prepare them with the skills they need for jobs that pay.” 

The JA Inspire program includes four in-class sessions where students will take a personality assessment to see what jobs align with their interests, research those jobs, and see what skills and educational requirements are needed to obtain and be successful in those jobs. Students will then go to the Rhode Island Convention Center for the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair, where they will get to explore various high-wage/high-demand careers. Exhibits will include over 150 interactive career stations with over 500 mentors from local companies working with students who will participate in hands-on activities, often using equipment or tools used on a job. After the career fair, students participate in a final in-class session to reflect on what they have learned and identify next steps to further define their academic choices and career paths.

“JA Inspire is designed to impact students at a time when they are making important decisions regarding high school choice and starting on a career pathway that aligns with their skills and interests.” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “We are grateful for this partnership with ASA, which will ensure that we can bring JA Inspire to over 80% of Rhode Island’s 8th graders.”

“JA Inspire is a groundbreaking program that eighth-graders in Rhode Island are fortunate to experience, and ASA is proud to be a part of it,” said Jean Eddy, President and CEO of American Student Assistance. “Career and interest exploration at an early age is critical to helping students find their path and plan for their future.”

To measure the impact of the program, Junior Achievement conducts pre- and post-test of students, as well as teacher and exhibitor surveys. Results from the December 2018 JA Inspire event showed:

  • 94% of teachers would recommend the JA Inspire program to other teachers.

  • 94% of teachers felt that JA Inspire improved their students’ knowledge of industries in Rhode Island.

  • 90% of students would recommend JA Inspire to a friend.

  • 76% of students said that JA Inspire introduced them to businesses that they didn’t know before.

  • 68% of students mentioned that JA Inspire made them aware of high-paying careers in Rhode Island.

The complete summary of student results and teacher/exhibitor feedback is available at www.jainspireri.org.

Past exhibitors at the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair have included Amgen, Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Cox Communications, CVS Health, Electric Boat, EpiVax, National Grid, New England Laborers, and the RI Builders Association. In addition, several of the state’s career and technical high schools and career pathways programs participate to show students their secondary school options. These include the Cranston Area Career & Technical Center, Regional Career & Technical Center at Coventry High School, William Davies Career & Technical High School, and the Woonsocket Area Career & Technical Center.

A complete list of past exhibitors is available at https://www.jainspireri.org/ip/december18-exhibitors.

About Junior Achievement of Rhode Island
Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 13,500 students per year in more than 20 communities across Rhode Island. For more information, visit our website at http://jarhodeisland.org, connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juniorachievementri, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JARhodeIsland.

About American Student Assistance® (ASA)
American Student Assistance® (ASA) is a national nonprofit committed to helping kids know themselves, know their options, and make informed choices to achieve their education and career goals. ASA® has a 60-year legacy of working directly with students to increase their access to higher education through loans and financial education. ASA has turned its experience into impactful solutions for students in grades 6-12 to help them pursue their dreams. To learn more about ASA, visit www.asa.org/about-us.


More than A Third of Teens Don’t Believe they will be Financially Independent from Parents by Age 30

New Survey by Junior Achievement and Citizens Bank Highlights Teens’ Top Financial Goals and Concerns

April 4, 2019 - Warwick, RI – A new survey by Junior Achievement (JA) and Citizens Bank shows that 63 percent of teens believe they will be financially independent of their parents by the age of 30, meaning that more than a third of teens surveyed do not hold this belief. The survey is being released in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month, which is April.

The survey found that 74 percent believe they will own a car by the time they are 30, with 60 percent believing they will own a home, 44 percent believing they will begin saving for retirement and 43 percent believing they will have paid off student loans. The survey of 1,000 US teens ages 13-18, who are not currently enrolled in college was conducted by Wakefield Research.

“These survey findings show a disconcerting lack of confidence among teens when it comes to achieving financial goals,” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “With a strong economy, you would think teens would be more optimistic. It just demonstrates the importance of working with young people to help them better understand financial concepts and gain confidence in their ability to manage their financial futures.”

The survey also found that most teens’ top financial goal for the future is getting a full-time job (62%). Other financial goals included graduating from a 4-year college (59%), no longer having to rely on parents or caregivers for money (53%) and saving enough money for a big trip or vacation (41%). In terms of teen top financial concerns for the future, those included paying for college (47%), not being able to afford to live on their own (45%), paying taxes (43%) and finding a fulfilling, well-paying job (40%).

“It’s clear that more has to be done to help prepare students for the future — whether it is through helping them navigate paying for college or educating them on how to manage their money by establishing savings and checking accounts,” said Barbara Cottam, Rhode Island Market Executive at Citizens Bank. “We are helping to equip our young people with the tools necessary so they can start on sound footing and make smart financial decisions.”

Other findings include:

  • Most teens (64%) turn to their parents or caregivers for financial advice, followed by family members (38%), friends (30%) and online resources, such as articles and social media (27%)

  • Most teens making money have some sort of bank account (61%), while the rest save their money unbanked, such as in a shoebox, piggybank or other method.

  • Among those currently in school, more female respondents (40%) than males (34%) believed they would make less than $35,000 in their first full-time job after high school.

  • More teens (22%) earned money in 2019 by working independently, compared to 2018 (16%). Most teens depend on gifts for spending money (64%), while many receive allowances for doing chores (32%).

Methodology
The JA Teens & Personal Finance Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. teens ages 13-18, who are not currently enrolled in college between, March 1st and March 8th, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Read the full 2019 JA Teens and Personal Finance Executive Summary.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $160.5 billion in assets as of December 31, 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,900 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

About Junior Achievement of Rhode Island
Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 10,000 students per year in 20 communities across Rhode Island. Visit www.jarhodeisland.org for more information or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


Junior Achievement Announces Dates for JA Inspire Career Exploration Program for 8th Grade Students

October 2, 2018 - Warwick, RI Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) will welcome 4,500 8th grade students to the Rhode Island Convention Center on December 5th and 6th as part of the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair. This capstone event allows students to explore in an experiential, hands-on learning manner, various career opportunities in Rhode Island’s high-wage/ high-demand industries. JA Inspire’s leading sponsor is the Warren Alpert Foundation. The program is also supported by the Governor’s Workforce Board as part of PrepareRI, a statewide initiative to prepare all students for success in college and career. Other supporters of JA Inspire include Cox Business, Fidelity Investments, KPMG, the Rhode Island Foundation, and WJAR/NBC10.

“JA Inspire is opening students’ eyes to opportunities right here in Rhode Island.” said Lee Lewis, president of JA Rhode Island. “Over 2,300 students participated in the pilot of JA Inspire in the last academic year and 75% of those students said they were introduced to businesses that they didn’t know before.”

Prior to attending the career exploration fair, students will complete an in-class curriculum where they will take a personality assessment to see what jobs align with their interests, research those jobs, and see what skills and educational requirements are needed to obtain and be successful in those jobs. At the JA Inspire Career Fair, students will have the opportunity to speak directly with mentors who work in these industries and will share their career advice with students.

“Every single high school graduate should be equipped with the skills and confidence they need to be successful in a 21st century economy. When we provide career exploration and education opportunities for our students, as early and as often as possible, we help them to reimagine their futures and set them on a path to be more engaged in their education.” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Students currently signed up to participate in this year’s JA Inspire program come from the Burrillville, Central Falls, Cranston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket school districts. They will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from local career and technical high schools, colleges/universities, and employers that include Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Computer Science 4 RI (CS4RI), Cox Business, Electric Boat, New England Institute of Technology, Newport Harbor Corporation, William Davies Career & Technical High School, and the Woonsocket Career Technical Center, just to name a few. A full list of exhibitors to date is available on the JA Inspire website at www.jainspireri.org. All exhibitors will have hands-on activities for the students related to their industry.

Schools that are interested in having their 8th grade students participate, or companies that would like to exhibit, can visit the JA Inspire website at www.jainspireri.org for more information or to sign-up.

Check out pictures from our March 2018 JA Inspire event:


Citizens Bank’s Suzanne Carmody Elected Chairman of Junior Achievement Board of Directors

July 20, 2018 - Warwick, RI – Suzanne Carmody, Senior Vice President/Head of Core Banking Sourcing at Citizens Bank, was elected Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) at their Annual Meeting of the Corporation held on June 26th. Sue has served on the board since 2016 and is a resident of Cranston, RI. JA is the state’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through volunteer-led, experiential, hands-on programs. JA’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

In addition to Sue’s election as chairman, two other officers were re-elected and two new members joined the board:

  • Ashlee Accetta, Community Relations Manager at Fidelity Investments, was elected to her first term on the board of directors through June 30, 2021. Ashlee is a resident of East Greenwich, RI.

  • Craig Bilodeau, Partner at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP, has been re-elected as the board’s Treasurer. Craig has been on the board since 2013. Craig is a resident of Cranston, RI.

  • Sherri Carrera, Account Manager at GLAD WORKS, has been re-elected as the board’s secretary. Sherri has been on the board since 2012. Sherri is a resident of Warwick, RI.

  • Graham Chapman, Manager of Community Partnerships at Santander Bank, was elected to his first term on the board of directors through June 30, 2021. Graham is a resident of Pembroke, MA.

The following staff change was also announced:

  • Jeffrey Cartee, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, previously serving as Vice President of Development. Jeff has been with JA since 2012 and as Executive Vice President he will oversee the development and events, operations and finance, and education departments. Jeff is a resident of Warwick, RI.

Junior Achievement’s board of directors is comprised of business, education, and community leaders that represent the diverse facets of Rhode Island’s economy and work force. The board sets and monitors the strategic direction of JA, helps to secure the necessary resources to ensure quality programming and operations, participates as and secures volunteers, and serves as ambassadors to the community to actively promote the mission and purpose of the organization.

“Junior Achievement is committed to finding the very best leaders in Rhode Island to lead and advance the JA mission,” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement. “We are excited to begin our new year with Sue at the helm and look forward to a great year ahead working to impact the lives of Rhode Island’s most valuable resource – its young people.”