JA Hosts Listening Sessions

Over the course of nine different listening sessions this spring, we were honored to speak with various stakeholders and community members who shared honestly about their perceptions of JA and experiences with the organization. It was encouraging to hear about our strengths and exciting to think about areas for improvement. We noticed many key themes surface throughout the sessions that will help inform our continued efforts to build equitable opportunities for students and meaningful engagement for volunteers.

Summary of Key Themes

Perception of Junior Achievement

  • Partners would benefit from JA providing informative marketing materials that they can readily share with their staff members
  • JA should increase focus on serving high need areas
  • JA can do a better job at being culturally affirming so we don’t treat our differences as problems, but instead use them to educate ourselves and adapt
  • JA would benefit from partnering with other community serving organizations
  • JA’s board is very homogenous and would benefit from more diversity

The Volunteer Experience

  • JA would benefit from offering a virtual experience in Capstone programming
  • Partners would enjoy virtual training that volunteers can do on their own time
  • Desire to see greater diversity with businesses represented in Learning Labs
  • Identify and engage volunteers who represent the students that JA serves
  • Volunteers would benefit from engaging with the teacher prior to the lesson
  • Volunteer buddy system – have 2 volunteers go into the classroom together
  • JA could improve communication of expectations for teachers when the volunteer is present

The Junior Achievement Curriculum

  • It would be worthwhile to educate parents so they can support student’s learning 
  • Although continually updated, JA’s curriculum not consistently representative of the today’s environment
  • Update the curriculum to be more inclusive of other languages such as Hmong, Spanish, and Somali
  • JA could explore ways to reach students that are not in the traditional classroom (permanent digital learners, homeschool students)
  • JA would benefit from including more career diversity in curriculum. Consider rural markets, top employers in specific geographies, growing career sectors, etc.
  • There is opportunity to create more inclusive physical documents (large print for volunteers, etc.)

Impact Experiences

  • JA could share more stories of impact and testimonials from participants
  • Repetition with the students is key – JA should focus on sequential program delivery and multiple experiences for each youth

Written by

Back to Blog