Cisco supports JA of Georgia’s programs to redesign education

Atlanta, Georgia - Cisco is partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia to prepare metro Atlanta students for their future. Specifically, Cisco is providing a grant of $150,000 to support the development and implementation of the program pipeline for the JA Academy and the JA Discovery Centers.

 One of the most notable aspects of Cisco’s partnership with JA of Georgia is their presenting sponsorship at JA BizTown at the JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett. Opened in 2015, JA BizTown presented by Cisco provides an unmatched experience where 6th grade students are able to interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of fueling a business. Here, students not only discover the intricacies of being a professional and member of the community, but also discover the abundance of opportunities available within their city.

 The success of the JA Discovery Centers has only grown since their launch, and the impact the experiential simulations have is evident in student engagement and changed perspectives. To continue to elevate its impact, JA of Georgia launched the JA Academy in August 2015.

 “Today’s students are facing an economy based on rapidly changing technologies – many that don’t even exist yet,” said Jack Harris, President and CEO of JA of Georgia. “In order to effectively prepare students for this new reality, their education must be relevant and authentic; it must move past theory and connect them to the complexities of the real world.”

 With support from Cisco and other partners, JA Academy is re-engineering the high school experience to be more relevant, experiential and authentically-connected to life beyond the classroom walls. JA Academy provides four years of high school education through a lens that engages students and prepares them for success. It is integrated learning through dynamic case studies, collaborating with peers, and access to industries to gain exposure and build the skills needed to go as far as one can dream.

The first year at Banneker High School resulted in JA Academy students consistently outperforming their freshman peers, as well as a significant drop in absenteeism compared to the same peer group. The second JA Academy opened at Norcross High School in Gwinnett County in August 2016, and the third is slated to open in August 2017 at B.E.S.T. Academy in Atlanta Public Schools.