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

Junior Achievement is guided by these following core values:

Belief in the boundless potential of young people
Commitment to the principles of market-based economics and entrepreneurship
Passion for what we do and honesty, integrity, and excellence in how we do it
Respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives, and background of all individuals
Belief in the power of partnership and collaboration
Conviction in the educational and motivational impact of relevant, hands-on learning

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. 

Junior Achievement Facts

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. JA of Washington reaches over 70,000 students per year on average.

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. Natalie Vega O’Neil is the President and CEO of JA of Washington. Lisa Stirgus, SVP & Chief Experience Officer at Harborstone is the Chair.