Junior Achievement Celebrates Centennial this Year

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Junior Achievement will be celebrating its centennial in 2019 with national and local events planned throughout the year.

“Very few organizations make it to 100 years, much less continue to grow and thrive like Junior Achievement has,” said Michele Merkel, president of Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley. “We are taking this opportunity to celebrate and honor what’s come before, but also look toward the future as we work to inspire and prepare our young people to succeed in our ever-changing world.”

Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley has been in the community 67 years, since 1952. In 2018, the chapter was recognized by GuideStar USA and received the 2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit award from Great Nonprofits.

To commemorate 100 years JA and jazz music, the chapter will hold a JA Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser Feb. 9 at Wedgewood Lanes and May 7 at Camelot Lanes with a theme of “All that Jazz.” Teams are encouraged to dress in jazz-era clothing and celebrate the timelessness of both Junior Achievement and jazz.

JA also will have an exhibit at the Tyler History Center to coincide with receiving the JA USA Time Capsule. JA alumni are encouraged to loan or donate items for the exhibit and the time capsule.

On a national level, Junior Achievement will kick off its “100 Years. 100% Ready” awareness campaign in February with a documentary broadcast on PBS. In March, JA will ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. And in September, JA Day will be held at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass.

Junior Achievement was established in 1919 in Springfield, Mass. by Horace Moses, founder of Strathmore Paper; Theodore Vail; AT&T chairman and U.S. Sen. Murray Crane from Massachusetts. It was established in response to families moving from farms to the growing industrial cities; the goal was to provide young people with job skills in their new communities.

Over the past 100 years, JA has evolved from operating primarily in the northeastern United States and teaching teens how to start a business into a multinational organization reaching more than 10 million students in 100 countries. Its programs promote entrepreneurship, career and work readiness, and financial literacy. In the United States, JA reaches nearly 5 million students in grades kindergarten through 12th.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.