Junior Achievement Alumni in the U.S. and Maryland Attain Higher Levels of Education, Income


Survey of 700 JA alumni shows they are excelling and participate in local JA programs.

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland Inc. (JA), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people to succeed in an ever-changing economy, said yesterday that its alumni have higher levels of education, career satisfaction, household income, entrepreneurial activity and a better understanding of finances than the public, according to a survey conducted by Junior Achievement USA.

The survey reveals that 62 percent of 700 alumni surveyed work in positions that are “manager status or above,” make nearly 20 percent more in household income than the general population, and are two-and-a-half times more likely to be involved in starting a business.

What is more, 88 percent of JA alumni say they are “satisfied” with their careers compared with 48.7 percent of the public, according to the Conference Board, an independent research association. JA is highlighting the survey data in January, which is National JA Alumni Month.

“Our alumni are clearly having an impact in Baltimore, the state of Maryland and in the broader business world,” said Kim Fabian, Senior Vice President of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “Many attribute JA for promoting their understanding of business and influencing their career goals. More important, they are giving back to their communities and have stayed involved in our programs.”

Since JA’s founding in 1919, more than 100 million alumni have participated in an array of JA programs while they attended elementary, middle or high school. In Central Maryland alone, JA will reach more than 46,000 youth in 2017.

Catherine L. Hughes, founder and chairwoman of Radio One Inc., Tracey Williams, who oversees Infrastructure and Operations Service Planning at Exelon Corp., and Adam M. Spence, managing partner at The Law Offices of Spence Brierley, P.C., are local examples of successful JA alumni who have remained involved.

Hughes participates in Junior Achievement of Central Maryland’s Company Program®, an entrepreneurship experience geared toward high school students to start and run their own business. Radio One sponsors the radio station in JA BizTown, a 10,000 square-foot simulated city space designed to reflect the importance of workplace performance and financial decisions in an authentic economy.

Ms. Hughes enrolled in JA when she was in grade school. She manufactured and sold a “soap puppy,” a bar of soap wrapped in an oversized washcloth with a tail, ears and a face made of yarn. The soap puppy sold for 50 cents apiece and 99 cents for two.

From selling soap puppies to running the largest African-American owned and targeted multi-media company in the U.S., Hughes credits Junior Achievement for playing a part in her success by introducing her to business and innovation at a young age.

“JA played a role in my own entrepreneurial story and gave me the opportunity to experience the world of business first-hand, while still in school,” Ms. Hughes said. “This type of experience is invaluable to all youth, and especially to those who are underserved and at-risk. Not only does JA expose these young people to the variety of promising careers available to them, it shows them the pathway to get there and allows them to practice real-world skills.”

Williams and Spence are also examples of successful JA alumni who continue to promotes the values of the organization.

An Exelon employee, Williams was a committed JA Company Program® participant and today mentors the JA Rising Women program in Howard County. Spence, an alumnus of JACompany Program®, encouraged his son, Michael, to return to JA’s Baltimore CountyCompany Program® in his second year with JA.

Williams and Spence will be among several alumni attending two events in January: the JA Rising Women Gala from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on January 11th at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, and the JA Company Program® at SC&H on January 19th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

About Junior Achievement of Central Maryland

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JACMD provides in school and after-school programs for 43,000 K-12 students, which focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. For more information, visitwww.jamaryland.org.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.8 million students per year in more than 100 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations over 100 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.

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