Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy

Junior Achievement provides programs in 3 foundational pathways:

Financial Literacy
Career Readiness
Entrepreneurship

Our Social Justice Commitment

We at JA of Washington stand for social justice. We are committed to educating in a way that dismantles inequality, racism, and oppression and sparking honest conversations in our communities. The future we envision and for which we prepare our students cannot exist unless we become catalysts for change. We pledge to do better. We must all do better. 

About JA of Washington

JA of Washington is committed to delivering relevant, compelling, and innovative educational experiences that build young people’s capacity, spur economic development, and contribute to global advancement. In partnership with many organizations and volunteers, JA is transforming the student experience with in-person and virtual programs that apply everyday learning to energize students and enhance their education.

A local volunteer Board of Directors provides strategic leadership and direction for JA of Washington in its 6 regions. Lisa Stirgus, Chief Experience Officer at Harborstone Credit Union serves as Chair of JA of Washington’s Statewide Board of Directors. Natalie Vega O’Neil is the President and Chief Executive Officer of JA of Washington.

Program Reach

In 2019/20, JA of Washington reached 35,235 students in over 1,273 classrooms and out-of-school locations. In response to the pandemic, JA shifted many of its programs to the digital sphere. Platforms such as Google Hangout, Zoom, Schoology, MS Teams, and more are being used to connect volunteers, educators, and students w ith JA’s virtual programs to meet them where they are, no matter the school situation. The goal for 2020/21 is 35,415 students.

Volunteer Model

JA of Washington’s over 5,000 volunteers from all walks of life, including business experts, college students, parents, and retirees. These dedicated individuals serve as job shadow hosts, classroom/virtual and JA Capstone program mentors and volunteers, and are the backbone of our organization.

About Junior Achievement USA

What is JA? Junior Achievement has 106 local JA Areas across the nation, and together, we are the nation’s largest organization dedicated to providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA’s programs—in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy—ignite the spark in young people to realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.

A brief History. Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Its first program, JA Company Program®, was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, the organization entered the classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades. Over the last 39 years, Junior Achievement has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school, after-school, and experiential programs reaching a wide range of students.

Program Reach. Nationally, Junior Achievement reaches nearly 4.9 million students per year in 212,101 classrooms and after-school locations. JA programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the United States, by 106 area offices in all 50 states.

Organization Overview. Junior Achievement USA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and provides strategic direction, leadership, and support to 106 JA Areas across the nation. Local volunteer boards of directors comprised of business, education, and civic leaders set the policy and direction for each local office. JA of Washington was founded in 1953.

Volunteers. Junior Achievement’s 243,756 volunteers come from all walks of life, including business people, college students, parents, and retirees. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of our organization.

Leadership. Mr. Richard A. Woods, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs (Retired) of Capital One, is chairman of the Junior Achievement USA board of directors. Jack E. Kosakowski is the president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement USA board members represent a wide range of businesses and academic institutions around the world. In addition, approximately 4,300 board members lead JA Area Offices around the United States.