GRANTEE: Junior Achievement

Funding from the Gawlicki Family Foundation will enable Junior Achievement to offer its Specialty Programs to an additional 350 students from Connecticut’s underserved communities of Hartford, New Britain, Waterbury and New Haven. 

JA Specialty Programs target middle and high school students through real-world experiences that primarily take place “outside of school walls.”  These programs are designed to bridge the gap between what students are learning in the classroom and the application of this knowledge in the real world. JA Specialty programs are modified to meet the needs of the individual schools where programs are delivered based on conversations with school administrators and educators prior to programs starting. JA Specialty program options include:

JA Job Shadow

This on-site experience takes high school students beyond the classroom to actively experience a real work site. In-class sessions prepare students for a visit to a professional work environment, where they will face a series of challenges administered by their workplace hosts. Students explore and research career opportunities and the skills needed to land and keep their dream job.                   

Career Walk

This experience has students walking around a particular town/city business center and visiting a variety of businesses: banking, finance, marketing, insurance, retail, etc. Similar to a JA Job Shadow event, students are provided with an opportunity to learn about different careers and receive an inside look at local businesses.  Students typically visit 3-4 businesses.     

Career Ready

High school students learn how to prepare for their futures from the experiences of professionals. The topics discussed include researching job opportunities that correlate with personal interests and skills, and the job application process, including resume writing and interviewing.

Pathways to Careers

Through this school-wide initiative, students are introduced to key “career ready” skills that progress as they move from 9th through 12th grade.

9th grade

Career Ready Workshop: Resume Writing: Students start their high school careers by creating a resume. Through this process, they will create a working document to carry with them throughout the next four years.

10th grade

Career Ready Workshop: Personal Brand: Students work in teams to rate the personal brand of candidates applying for a job by comparing cover letters, resumes, and digital profiles of the candidates. Students determine choices they can make to create a positive personal brand as they build their careers.

Career Inspirations Panel: Four to five local business members participate in an interactive panel discussion. Panelists share the history of their career paths, allowing students to understand that there is no straight path in life, the mindset of staying open to opportunity will result in the achievement of personal and professional growth.

11th grade

Career Ready Workshop: Interviewing Skills: Students review soft skills that are in demand by employers and will rate their own soft skills. They will use personal stories in a job interview workshop to communicate these skills to a potential employer.

Career Inspirations Panel: Four to five local business members participate in an interactive panel discussion. Panelists share the history of their career paths, allowing students to understand that there is no straight path in life.  They also teach students the importance of staying open to opportunities that could result in both personal and professional growth.

12th grade

Job Shadows: Through a variety of job shadowing experiences students prepare to be entrepreneurial thinkers in their approach to work. Students acquire and apply the skills needed in demanding and ever-changing workplace.

Career Connections for Young Women

A program geared to inspire young women to focus on careers, professional goals and financial responsibility. Through a variety of workshops and job shadow experiences, these young women will receive practical advice and wisdom about the world of work, from how to get hired to understanding your personal brand.

JA Company Program

High school students work together to fill a need or solve a problem in their community by unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit to launch their own start-up business. Through this program students gain skills in entrepreneurism, leadership, teamwork, ethics, and career development.

Be Entrepreneurial Challenge

Using a modified version of the JA Be Entrepreneurial curriculum, the JA Be Entrepreneurial Symposium allows local high school students to work with community and business leaders to learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurism. The students develop a business plan with the experience and expertise of their volunteer leaders.