Junior Achievement is an international movement to
educate young people about business and economics. The purpose is to help them
prepare to succeed in a world economy.
The organization is the largest of its kind. JA Worldwide says it reaches
about seven and one-half million students each year in nearly 100 countries.
Programs begin in elementary school and continue through middle and high school.
The education is based on the ideas of market-based economics and
Junior Achievement began in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Two
business leaders, Horace Moses and Theodore Vail, joined with Senator Murray
Crane of Massachusetts to start it.
For more than fifty years, Junior Achievement programs met after school. They
began as a group of business clubs. The organization started with a small number
of children ages ten to twelve.
But in 1975, Junior Achievement began to offer classes during school hours.
Many more young people joined the organization once it began to teach business
skills as part of the school day.
Volunteers from the community teach about businesses, how they are organized,
and how products are made and sold. They also teach about the American and world
economies, the money system, industry and trade.
The Junior Achievement Company Program teaches young people how
entrepreneurship works. They learn about business by operating their own
The students develop a product and sell shares in their company. They use the
money to buy the materials they need to make their product, which then they
sell. Finally, they return the profits to the people who bought shares in the
Junior Achievement says more than two hundred fifty thousand volunteers
support its programs around the world. In the United States alone, there are
more than 21,000 places that hold Junior Achievement events.
Junior Achievement Incorporated and Junior Achievement International combined
their operations in 2004. They formed Junior Achievement Worldwide. Its
headquarters are in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Shelley
Gollust and Mario Ritter. Transcripts and archives are at voaspecialenglish.com
where you can also find a link to the JA Web site, ja.org. I'm Faith Lapidus.