About JA

Changing the Lives of Young People

Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. The inspiration piece comes from community volunteers who not only deliver our lessons, but share their experience. In the process, these volunteers serve as role models helping to positively impact young people’s perceptions about the importance of education, as well as critical life skills. Preparation involves our proven lessons that promote financial capability, work and career readiness, and business ownership. See how JA impacted the life of Jakayla by watching the video on the right.

Empowering the Next Generation

Junior Achievement’s proven lessons in financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship are shown to positively impact the lives of young people. These lessons align with national and state educational standards and are delivered to millions of students across the country with the help of our education partners and volunteers from the local community.

Research shows that JA Alumni are more likely to have a college degree, feel confident managing money, have career success, and have started a business as an adult.

Learn more about Ipsos/JA Alumni Report

Girl working on JA Virtual Programs

JA of Central Carolinas Virtual Tour

Junior Achievement Facts

What is Junior Achievement?

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas helps students identify, navigate, and acheive a fulfilled future.

Alongside our many volunteer mentors, Junior Achievement provides hands-on curriculum programs surrounding preparation for the workforce, personal finance, and being entrepreneurial that help youth unleash their own boundless potential and achieve a fulfilled future.

Purpose

Junior Achievement's purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

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. Sarah Cherne is the President and CEO of JA of Central Carolinas. Jeff Ledford of Ernst & Young LLP is the Chair.

Our Impact

When our students can understand their own unique path for the future and how to follow it, they are able to prepare for work in a field that interests them, manage the resources they are given, and think creatively about how to overcome challenges. This creates fulfilled adults who are assets to their community. Similarly, when community and business leaders want to enact true change, they look for ways to make the greatest impact. Through Junior Achievement programs, volunteers can use their personal stories to mentor students. Our programs provide direct connection between those who want to help, and those students who need the community to invest in their futures.

Junior Achievement is one of a few nonprofits to use independent, third-party evaluators to gauge the impact of its programs. Since 1993, these experts have conducted studies on Junior Achievement's effectiveness. Findings prove that Junior Achievement has a positive impact in a number of critical areas. We invite you to read the Programs Evaluation Results. We invite you to read the Programs Evaluation Results.

Program Reach

Nationally, Junior Achievement reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in 209,651 classrooms and after-school locations. JA programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the United States, by 105 Area Offices in all 50 states. JA of Central Carolinas reaches approximately 27,564 students per year.

Our Organization

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 and after-school students.

Founded in 1958, Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and serves 53 counties across North Carolina and the northern part of South Carolina. Our parent organization, Junior Achievement USA, is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas is led by Sarah Cherne, President and CEO. Jeffery Tackett, Regional Sales Manager for Fidelity Investments, is the Chair of the Board of Directors. Our Board Members represent a wide range of businesses and civic organizations across our region.

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 and after-school students.

Volunteers

Junior Achievement's 237,680 classroom volunteers come from all walks of life, including: business people, college students, parents and retirees. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of our organization.

Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas Team

Staff

Our staff is committed to making your experience working with us absolutely the best!

JA Staff

Board

Our Board Members includes the finest business and individual leaders in our community.

JA Board

More about Junior Achievement

Financial and Annual Reports

We've consistently received high grades for accountability and transparency.

JA Financials

Careers

Join us on our mission to empower youth and create robust communities.

JA Careers

Communities We Serve

View the communities we reach with our programs.

Communities JA Serves

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We at Junior Achievement are dedicated to providing a positive, enriching learning experience free of bias that promotes greater economic opportunity and equity. Junior Achievement welcomes K-12 students, volunteers, educators, staff, and other partners and stakeholders, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other legally protected characteristic.

Select a button below to see how you or your organization can get involved with Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas.

Donate Volunteer Request A Program

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