For students, having the right mentor or mentors can be the building block for success. The Junior Achievement (JA) strives to foster those relationships by connecting community leaders and outstanding individuals to students early on in their educational journey. At the third annual Junior Achievement of Chicago gala, students and leaders gathered to celebrate the triumphs.
“I absolutely love the program,” said JA of Chicago board member Jackie Kennedy. “It definitely sparked my imagination as a child in terms of what my job possibilities could be and how I could be a better person, and now they are continuing that by educating my children, which is just incredible.”
“Inspire and prepare young people to succeed.” That is the non-profit’s motto, and the numbers don't lie. JA of Chicago impacted the lives of more than 600,000 students last year—a ten percent increase from the year previous—and donated more than $180,000 in college scholarships, forever changing the lives of thousands of hoosiers for the better.
Junior Achievement of Chicago delivers K-12 grade programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, using the experience of members of their community to help students grow to their full potential. Quality volunteers visit classrooms and deliver hands-on programming that inspires students to understand the opportunities provided by furthering their educations.
“Junior Achievement has given me a real sense of what adults go through in budgeting,” said Caitlyn Cunningham, a JA student.
None of the successes of the program would be possible without the support of community-minded organizations who donate to the cause. This year, NIPSCO received the legacy award for its substantial partnership with Junior Achievement of Chicago. NIPSCO has been a partner with JA for 25 years and has surpassed the $5,000 mark of donations this year, funding enough classes for an entire school.
“It’s really something, to be on the other end of what was truly a memorable experience for myself as a kid,” said Rick Calinski, public affairs manager for NIPSCO. “The gratitude shared by the students after their time in the classroom is heartwarming and is one of the many reasons we think it's important to support JA and their mission. We’re just glad we can help make a difference.”
With these donations NIPSCO has made it clear they plan to keep the lights on in the minds of our local youth, as they develop the critical skills and character necessary to succeed in our fast-paced, 21st century workplace.
Learn more about the Junior Achievement of Chicago on their website here, https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-chicago/home.