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Junior Achievement of South Florida

Junior Achievement of South Florida has been serving Broward and Southern Palm Beach County since 1959. The Coconut Creek Florida based organization is the largest JA in the world.

The Carl Angus DeSantis Foundation grant Junior Achievement supports the “JA Fellows” program.

The goal of the JA Fellows program is to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of high school students in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The program aims to help students develop essential career skills, understand the complexities of successful enterprise incubation, and gain practical business experience.

Fellows start, capitalize, and manage their own small businesses gaining “real world” experience while building communication and financial management skills.

Approximately, 70 percent of participants come from families living below the poverty line. The goal is to give fellows the skills needed to improve their economic situations. Fellows are taught personal finance skills, soft skills, and the value of being ready to join the workforce and or become entrepreneurs.

The program runs for 18 sessions beginning in August 2024 and ending in April 2025 at the National Student Leadership Summit in Washington., D.C. where students showcase their achievements and learn from other young entrepreneurs.

100 percent of grant funds will serve students from participating Title 1 Schools in Broward County. Title 1 Schools serve students from low-income families.

The program offers students an opportunity to be mentored by local business leaders who provide constructive feedback on their businesses so that students can further develop their workforce skills while gaining a valuable network of contacts.

The program also hosts “Spark Tank” competitions, which are shark tank-like events. Spark Tank competitions are judged by local business celebrities and give students the opportunity to practice their presentation skills. Student companies compete for scholarships and awards.

The goal of our grant is to:

  • Create 20 student run companies that will complete the program.
  • 85% of students will show academic improvements based on pre and post tests
  • 90% of the companies will present their business plans to local sharks.

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