Junior Achievement’s (JA) purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

JA uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life while teaching the JA program concepts on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness. In partnership with business and educators, JA brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential.

JA has been promoting business education since 1919, first through an after-school secondary program, and currently through in-school (public and private) K-12 partnerships with educators. The cumulative worldwide impact on students is currently more than 50 million, and it's growing. JA of Central Illinois is 50 years young and currently reaches about 10,000 students, partnering with over hundreds of educators and business volunteers across 54 schools in central Illinois.

Why Junior Achievement in the Classroom?

JA’s unique delivery system provides the training, materials, and support necessary to bolster the chances for student success. At your invitation, we help arrange for business people and local community leaders to visit your classroom a few times or throughout the semester. They volunteer to share their workforce experience with your students, all while teaching sound economic principles and reinforcing your class curricula.

See how JA programs meet state standards by visiting, then clicking the Programs tab. There you will find specific information on each grade level, including a Scope & Sequence.

Why would a school want to partner with Junior Achievement and the business community?

JA offers a product and a service that seeks to bridge education and business. Schools enjoy a nontraditional, innovative, interactive, practical, non-lecture-based, clever way to educate our youth. The actual teacher gets a “break” while a new face teaches important skills in a different way, while still under girding state of Illinois learning standards.


Add at the bottom:  If you are an educator and wish to request Junior Achievement in your classroom, please contact Program Director Angie Houck by phone at 309.682.1800 or email at