Junior Achievement of NorCal prepares students for entrepreneurship

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are so many wonderful organizations that help people in the Bay Area, that are in need of help themselves. For Day of Giving, ABC7 News anchor Jobina Fortson is supporting Junior Achievement of Northern California, a nonprofit empowering students K-12 and their teachers.

Junior Achievement, or JA, is an organization dedicated to teaching students financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship through methods that aren't taught inside the classroom.

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Jobina has been volunteering with JA for the last year and a half. She's hosted their financial literacy town hall, where experts gave students one-on-one advice on how to plan their futures. At the start of the pandemic, Jobina emceed JA NorCal's annual Hall of Fame awards where more than $300,000 was raised to support 300 Northern California classrooms. As one of the organization's newest board members, Jobina has witnessed the positive impact JA can have on a student.

Pre-pandemic, students had opportunities to visit job sites, interact with corporate sponsors, and receive mentors from companies like Google and the San Francisco Giants. In March, JA made the virtual pivot. The nonprofit formed online internship opportunities and free virtual programming for teachers.

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Everything JA offers is free, but it's budget has been reduced by 30% due to the instability of it's corporate funders and no in-person fundraising events.

"We don't want to leave children behind," Cristene Burr, JA NorCal CEO, said.

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"There is such a demand students from all over who want to participate. Knowing that you can't go and do your traditional fundraisers anymore, we are really relying on individuals in seeing the value of teaching students personal finance, teaching them how to start a business, teaching them about jobs and careers and who better to do that than an organization who's primary source of volunteerism is corporate volunteers."

Like many organizations, the need is urgent for JA. Click here to learn more and donate if you can.
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