Junior Achievement Of North Florida Receives A Grant From The Jim Moran Foundation

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Funding Will Support The Nonprofit’s New JA Heroes Program

Jacksonville, Fla –  Junior Achievement of North Florida has received a $76,200 one-year grant from The Jim Moran Foundation for its newest program - JA Heroes - to enrich the education of middle school students. JA of North Florida has partnered with Duval County Public Schools to deliver JA Heroes to GEAR UP students.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) exposes students in low-income middle schools to college, careers and activities that will increase their aspirations and give them access to postsecondary options. JA Heroes will connect middle school service learners with JA elementary school students to teach work readiness and financial literacy.

“We have teamed up with Duval County Public Schools to provide them with a program that fills in some of the gaps for these GEAR UP students and inspires them to dream big and reach their full potential,” said Shannon Italia, president of JA of North Florida. “We will be empowering these young leaders by putting middle-school students at the head of the class to volunteer and teach JA programming to elementary students. This will provide lessons in community engagement and cross-cultural learning for the middle-school students while giving the younger elementary students a role model closer to their own age.”

JA Heroes will be launched in the Fall of 2022. Approximately 1,600 GEAR UP middle-school students will take part in four 45-minute sessions for the first phase of JA Heroes where they will learn important life skills including adaptability, accountability, critical thinking, conflict resolution, communication and leadership. They will be taught active listening, time management, planning, prioritizing and how to work collaboratively with their peers.

In the Spring of 2023, approximately 350 middle-school students will apply the learning they received in the first phase of the program and volunteer to be trained in two 45-minute sessions by JA staff to teach the JA Our Community program to second-grade students in an elementary school near their middle school. The program is typically taught by corporate volunteers. During training, the students will learn how to prepare the lessons and practice effective classroom management skills. They will then work in teams of two to three and be teachers for the day. The middle-schoolers will give activity-based lessons on businesses and the jobs they offer in the community. They will teach the elementary students about taxes, decision making and how money flows through the economy with hands-on learning which reinforces important work readiness and financial literacy concepts.

Italia added, “We could not launch our JA Heroes program without the support from The Jim Moran Foundation. They have been a wonderful donor to us in the past as well and have been fundamental in delivering JA programs to local youth. We greatly appreciate their contribution to not only us but to this community.”

About Junior Achievement of North Florida

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Junior Achievement of North Florida has been operating in Jacksonville since 1963 and includes a satellite office in Tallahassee. Through an innovative partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers, Junior Achievement of North Florida helps young people connect with relevant learning and the importance of staying in school. To learn more about Junior Achievement of North Florida, visit https://northflorida.ja.org.   

About The Jim Moran Foundation

Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, the mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation has invested more than $210 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term Grant Agreement, The Foundation's significant funders are JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. To learn more, visit https://www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.