Thunderbirds Charities has generously granted $50,000 to Junior Achievement Arizona (JA) to support their JA BizTown program for the 2022-23 school year. The additional funds will allow over 500 low-income students to visit JA BizTown and take part in hands-on learning designed to empower them to own their future economic success.
JA has been thrilled to welcome Arizona students back to JA BizTown,” said Katherine Cecala, president of Junior Achievement of Arizona. “By focusing on the critical skills students need today to set them up for future success, JA is cultivating a generation of contributing members to society who are aimed at creating a thriving community for Arizona. JA BizTown is an important step in that mission.
JA BizTown and JA Finance Park re-opened to Arizona schools in the 2021-2022 school year and welcomed over 17,000 students. Next year, they plan to exceed that. The JA BizTown experience encompasses both in-classroom preparatory lessons, focusing on career research, budgeting, business tax and loan knowledge, economics, resume writing and interviewing, as well as the in-person simulation at their Tempe facility. Students are able to apply the knowledge they learned in the classroom to the 4.5-hour simulation in a child-sized economy built just for them. There, students are tasked with running businesses for a day, working in teams as CEOs, CFOs, engineers, marketing directors, radio DJs, and many other jobs, to pay back a bank loan and make their businesses profitable. Additionally, the students earn a simulated income and experience the consumer side of the economy, making purchases from employees at the other shops and businesses in town.
“We understand that not all schools have the means to send their students to our facility, so we are working on innovative ways to bring JA BizTown to them,” said Cecala. “We launched JA BizTown Adventures during the pandemic, which serves as a virtual option for those who might have too many constraints to visit in person. The virtual option still offers the same opportunities for learning as the in-person simulation, but can be more widely offered to some of our more rural schools. It’s because of the generous support of Thunderbirds Charities that we plan to reach more students than ever this coming school year.
“We are proud to once again support JA BizTown,” said Michael Golding, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “Thunderbirds Charities is committed to the success of children in our community and this program is preparing them for a bright future in a fun and unique way.”
This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.