Each week on “Biz Buzz,” our host David Sillick talks to experts in the business world. Today, he sits down with Steve St. Amand from Junior Achievement of North Florida, a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship programs to young people in North Florida.
Company: Junior Achievement of North Florida
Website Address: janfl.org
Interviewee: Steve St. Amand
What is Junior Achievement as a national, international, and local business?
Junior Achievement is a worldwide organization. It was founded 100 years ago in Springfield, Massachusetts for folks who came to the realization that young people graduating from high school weren’t prepared for the workforce. There are 7 JA areas in the world, JA USA is one of them. Ja reached 10 million students last year worldwide and in the United States it was 5 million, so obviously we’re by far the largest. Our area runs from Jacksonville to Tallahassee and down to north of Orlando. We’re now up to twenty-three counties but by far we do most of our work here in Duval.
What are you doing to be involved with Newtown?
We have created a few initiatives based on JA programs. Newtown was one of them. Five years ago we received a two hundred thousand dollar grant and we created the JA. Financial Literacy Center in Newtown. We are housed in the Mitchell Community Center. And for those folks that don’t know Newtown, It is the highest crime, highest unemployment, lowest graduation etc. It was the perfect place to put the program. So we developed something called the Economics of Healthy Eating, where we teach basic dietary. We have the budget for a fruit salad. Then we take them to the farmers market where they purchase their budgeted items. It’s a third-grade program because we develop the curriculum in conjunction with the Brooks College of Health at UNF and they suggested that program to go to third grade.