ATLANTA, GA- Allstate announced today the continuation of its partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia, and its efforts to provide a dynamic learning experience designed to enhance students’ financial literacy and build skills for personal and professional success. Allstate has an interactive storefront in JA BizTown presented by Cisco, one of two simulations located within the JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett.

JA BizTown provides students the opportunity to experience their futures first hand. Here 6th grade students interact within a simulated economy and take on the challenge of fueling a business. The students not only discover the intricacies of being a professional and member of the community, but also the abundance of opportunities available within their city.

The experience begins in the classroom with JA provided curriculum that culminates with a day at JA BizTown. The simulation creates an opportunity where students are able to participate in an interactive economy and take on the role of employee and consumer. During the visit to JA BizTown, students receive job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day’s work, develops a personal budget, and makes purchasing decisions.

 The interactive simulation provides sixth grade students the opportunity to not only learn about finances and careers, but allows them to transform into adults for the day, becoming the sole decision maker and taking ownership of their professional success.

“Thanks to partnerships with Gwinnett County Public Schools and the local business community, we are able to give students an authentic and relevant experience that leaves a lasting and measurable impact,” said Jack Harris, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Georgia. “Together we are shaping the next generation into individuals who are equipped to lead our community and play an integral role in our economy.”

The JA Discovery Center at Gwinnett opened in August 2015 and will serve more than 25,000 middle school students a year from Gwinnett County Public Schools. It is the second JA Discovery Center in the state, bringing the immersive facilities’ annual impact to more than 60 percent of metro Atlanta middle school students.



ATLANTA, GA—JA of Georgia brought important financial literacy lessons to students in Atlanta as part of a contribution from AT&T and its AT&T Aspire initiative. Seventh grade students at Columbia Middle School experienced the 13-week JA Finance Park® program, which helps students build a foundation of personal finance skills through in-class learning and an experiential and authentic simulation.

JA Finance Park® begins in the classroom, with teacher-led lessons about topics like income, saving, debit and credit. The program culminates in an immersive half-day simulation onsite at the JA Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center. The simulation gives students the opportunity to apply classroom learning by creating a family budget based on hypothetical life situations assigned to the students, such as job, salary, and family situation.

“Many of these students haven’t been exposed to managing finances, either because they haven’t had those conversations with their parents or haven’t had access to financial literacy programs in school,” said Jack Harris, President & CEO, JA of Georgia. “At JA Finance Park®, we aren’t just telling students how to manage budgets; we’re giving them the opportunity to make decisions and dictate the outcomes themselves.

 At JA Finance Park students have the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. The immersive simulation, combined with the relevant experience of the volunteers, enables students to develop skills to successfully navigate today’s complex economic environment, and discover how decisions today can impact tomorrow.

“It is important to give every student an equal opportunity to learn basic financial skills like budgeting, managing credit and understanding a salary,” said Diane Watson, AT&T Services. “Watching that moment when it ‘clicks’ for a student is what makes this such an important investment – seeing them understand the tradeoff for buying those basketball season tickets is that their family may not be able to buy groceries that month. Students walk away with a much better understanding of what sacrifices their parents make for them and what it means to be a financially responsible adult.”

Established in 2003, JA Finance Park® is one of Junior Achievement USA's most successful programs, and more than 1 million students across the United States have gone through the experiential learning program since it first began.

The partnership between JA of Georgia and AT&T is a continuation of their joint commitment to providing learning experiences that help young people in the community develop the competence, confidence and character to make smart academic and economic decisions. AT&T volunteers assist in the delivery of JA Finance Park®, as 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, the company’s signature initiative to promote student success in school and beyond.

See what students and executives are saying about JA Finance Park®:

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.




SAVANNAH, GEORGIA - Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia, in partnership with 18 local businesses, hosted its 4th annual career day at Sol C. Johnson High School on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

At the event, high school students were able to interact with local business professionals and to participate in hands-on demonstrations, which exposed them to what a typical day looks like for professionals across various sectors.

"I've never talked to a lot of women who are in big math and science things,” said Kiera Napolitano, a Junior at Johnson High School. “For her to be like, 'oh she bought a business and it’s a construction business,' is good because I want to go into engineering; there's not a lot of women in engineering."

Napolitano’s realization encapsulates the power that authentic and relevant experiences can have when infused with real-world business connectivity. The breadth of businesses that participated in the career day allowed students to learn about careers that they may have never been exposed to.

Companies that participated include: Advertising Specialty Services, The Art Institutes, AT&T, Chatham County Juvenile Court, Collins Construction, Empire Beauty School, Georgia Power, Gulfstream, Jasper Design Services, JE Dunn Construction, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Savannah Fire Department, Savannah State University - Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Savannah State University - University Counsel, Savannah Technical College, Sebrell Smith Entertaining, SunTrust, University of Georgia Department of Foods and Nutrition.

“Our programming depends on partnerships with companies like these to bring relevant business experiences that truly change the way students think about their futures,” said Jack Harris, President and CEO of JA of Georgia. “We are thankful to the support these companies give to Savannah area students throughout the entire school year, and look forward to continuing our partnerships.”

Many of the businesses who participated in Wednesday’s event are also participating in Mayor Eddie DeLoach’s Summer 500 program, which begins May 31, 2016. The inaugural summer internship program will give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in a professional setting, helping them to build their soft skills and explore possible career paths. 


Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia inducted Paul Bowers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Power, and Larry Gellerstedt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cousins Properties into the Junior Achievement Atlanta Business Hall of Fame on Sat., Feb. 27, 2016 at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead. Nearly 700 guests were in attendance to honor Bowers and Gellerstedt as they joined the ranks of 87 influential Atlantans who hold a spot in the hall of fame for their significant contributions to Atlanta’s civic and economic vibrancy.

 Since 1989, the JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame has been held to honor dynamic business and civic leaders who have shaped Atlanta into the vibrant city it is today. This year’s event broke records raising more than $750,000 to support JA of Georgia and its efforts to equip the next generation with the confidence and understanding to take control of their futures.

Paul Bowers has been an influential part of the Southern Company and the Atlanta community for nearly four decades, and his 36 year career with Southern Company has taken him throughout the country and world. He began at Gulf Power in 1979, and has held various leadership positions within the company since. From Chief Financial Officer to President of Southern Company Generation, he went on to become the CEO of Southern Power before being named president and CEO of the company’s former U.K. subsidiary. Through these roles, Bowers has played an integral role in shaping the progress and success of Southern Company. He is the chair for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Chairman of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, and serves on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and multiple other boards throughout the state. Today as Chairman, President and CEO of Georgia Power since 2011, Bowers’ leadership continues to be marked by notable contributions to the company and community.

Larry Gellerstedt’s career has spanned more than 35 years and various industries, and his commitment to his community has only deepened over that time. Gellerstedt’s career of leadership began young; at 26 he founded and became president of BCB, a Beers Construction Company (Beers) subsidiary that was focused on the healthcare industry. He went on to grow the company to revenues of more than $1.2 billion before selling and shifting his focus to real estate. In 2009, Gellerstedt was named President and CEO of Cousins Properties after joining the company in 2005. His start at Beers in 1978 laid the ground work for a successful and diversified career that has spanned more than 30 years with numerous leading roles across businesses and local organizations. From Founder and Past Chair of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, to Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Gellerstedt has played an active role in shaping the philanthropic and civic landscape of the metro area.

 The night was marked by many memorable moments, including the keynote speech from Mitchell Alvarado, the math teacher at the JA-MBA at Banneker High School. Alvarado shared moving stories of student discoveries and transformations that have already taken place, as well as the development of the new culture that is building within the program.

 “You are truly giving these kids hope when there was none,” said Alvarado. “This is not just educating, this is saving their lives. The role you are playing with JA is truly impacting the future of my students, their community, your career force, and is transforming the system of education.”