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. 


Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia is bringing important career readiness experiences to students in metro Atlanta as part of AT&T’s signature education initiative AT&T Aspire. Students from Cross Keys High School and Shiloh High School were assigned an AT&T mentor through the JA Job Shadow™ program, which gives students a firsthand glimpse into a professional career.

JA Job Shadow™ begins in the classroom with three sessions to help students learn more about careers, including how to identify a career based on interests, steps in researching potential jobs and developing job-hunting skills like networking and interviewing. The students then will visit an AT&T corporate office to shadow an employee for half a day to see first-hand how education translates to a satisfying and successful career.  

“Many students may not have exposure to all of the career options that exist today,” said Jack Harris, President and CEO of JA of Georgia. “Through the AT&T Aspire program, we are giving students the opportunity to be exposed to different paths and to help them realize the endless careers available in their own community.”

During the 2015-2016 school year Junior Achievement and AT&T seek to impact more than 7,000 students nationwide. This could not be achieved without the support of AT&T mentors that are a part of the company’s Aspire Mentoring Academy program. Through Aspire Mentoring Academy, AT&T employees connect with students to help them discover their passions and potential. Aspire Mentoring Academy is part of AT&T Aspire, our signature initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.

“Mentoring is a two-way street and our volunteers also learn so much from the students,” Diane Watson, AT&T Services. “The students and mentors both walk away feel inspired. They’ve talked about passions, values, encourage, education – you name it. These students are ultimately the future of our company, and other companies worldwide, and it’s important to invest in them now.”

The collaboration between JA of Georgia and AT&T is a continuation of their joint commitment to providing authentic and relevant experiences that help young people in the community be in control of their future success.

See what students and AT&T mentors who have completed JA Job Shadow™ have to say about the program:   

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. In 2014, nearly $127 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring.



WELLESLEY, Mass.-- Babson College, the top-ranked college in the United States for the study of entrepreneurship, and Junior Achievement USA®, the country's leading organization giving young people the knowledge and skills to own their economic success, have partnered to offer a $20,000 per year merit scholarship for a Junior Achievement (JA) USA student who attends Babson. According to research , JA alumni are two and one-half times more likely to become an entrepreneur when compared to the general population.

The new scholarship program was recently celebrated in Atlanta, Georgia, at a Junior Achievement leadership event held at the JA Discovery Center.

"Entrepreneurship is a driver of innovation and job growth and is critical to our future, so it's essential that we help young people better understand how it works and how they can become entrepreneurs," said Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "We greatly appreciate Babson College's commitment to helping Junior Achievement students achieve their dreams through the power of entrepreneurship."

"We are pleased to partner with a world-class organization such as Junior Achievement that shares our vision and desire to educate entrepreneurial leaders who create great economic and social value—everywhere," said Babson President Kerry Healey, who recently joined the Junior Achievement USA Board of Directors.

The Babson College Junior Achievement Scholarship amounts to $20,000 per year for four years. Students enrolling in Babson in fall 2017 are eligible; in order to apply, applicants will have until February 1, 2017, to submit an essay about "What does Junior Achievement mean to you and how will you apply your Junior Achievement experience while at Babson?" This aid will be beneficial to JA students who, like many college students, use loans to finance their education.

Federal government data find that Babson College undergraduates who receive financial aid enjoy career success during their earning lifetime. According to the 2016 U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard, Babson College undergraduate alumni enjoy median salary earnings of approximately $86,700 10 years after entering college. This is more than double the national average of $33,800 according to the College Scorecard and places Babson College at the top among elite college and universities in the United States.

About Junior Achievement USA®

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 in over 100 other countries worldwide. Visit for more information.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.


Publix Super Markets Charities has given more than $31,000 in their partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia this year, all in an effort to help empower the next generation. Publix Super Markets Charities has maintained a storefront sponsorship in JA Finance Park at the JA Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center since 2013, as well as an additional storefront space in JA Finance Park presented by Assurant at the JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett, which opened in 2015. 

Their storefront offers middle school students an authentic environment where they experience their financial futures. Guided by their ‘life situation,’ students apply knowledge gained in the classroom to make routine budget decisions; ultimately, building skills to confidently navigate today’s economic environment and discovering how decisions today can impact tomorrow.

While at the Publix store, students make budgeting decisions around providing food for themselves and their families. Do they have enough room in the budget for fresh produce every week, or do they need to make compromises elsewhere to achieve a healthy diet? What is the cost difference in preparing meals at home versus eating meals out? These are just a few of the situations that volunteers help guide students through during their time in the Publix store. 


Publix Super Markets Charities’ support of JA’s learning solutions goes beyond their storefront sponsorships in the metro-Atlanta area. The grant funding supports learning solutions across multiple regions in the state, including the Southern Coastal, Northwest, Northeast and West Central Georgia areas, to help JA serve more than 172,000 students annually.