About Junior Achievement

Imagine a generation of students armed with the confidence and understanding to take control of their futures and equipped to achieve their dreams.

Through our relevant, authentic, and experiential financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship learning experiences, we are inspiring a generation to answer the demands of the 21st-century economy with “I can.” In partnership with the education and business communities, Junior Achievement is using integrated learning models focused on career readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. We’re bridging the gap between what students learn in the classroom and the real world. We work to empower the next generation with the knowledge, capacity and motivation to thrive and build a better future for themselves and their community.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay serves 13 counties including the entire Tampa Bay area. Junior Achievement is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization. This year, business professionals, parents, retirees and college students will teach Junior Achievement learning experiences in-person or virtually. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of our organization. Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay has been empowering the futures of local students by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their future, and make smart academic, career and economic choices.

Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy by providing relevant, hands-on learning experiences that teach young people to manage their money, plan for their economic future, own their own businesses, and develop readiness for careers or college. Junior Achievement associates are known for their passion for the JA mission that brings together business and education to work with students in elementary, middle and high school so they are empowered to own their economic success. Junior Achievement’s building blocks for success inspire elementary students at JA BizTown, prepare middle school students at JA Finance Park, and succeed at 3DE high schools.

Financial Literacy

Workplace Readiness


Core Values

  • Belief in the boundless potential of young people
  • Commitment to the principles of market-based economics and entrepreneurship
  • Passion for what we do and honesty, integrity, and excellence in how we do it
  • Respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives and backgrounds of all individuals
  • Belief in the power of partnership and collaboration
  • Conviction in the educational and motivational impact of relevant, hands-on learning.

Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts founded Junior Achievement in 1919.

They wanted to teach kids about business and how the United States economy functioned. Its first program, JA Company Program®, was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, Junior Achievement entered the classroom and gradually began offering programs at all grade levels, Kindergarten through high school, expanding the curriculum to encompass financial literacy and work readiness education, in addition to the entrepreneurship training.

Over the last 39 years, Junior Achievement has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school and after-school students. Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay was formed in 1965. The franchise is made up of thirteen counties including Alachua, Levy, Marion, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Polk, Highlands, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and Sumter counties.

Fast Facts

  • We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization wholly dependent on the financial and volunteer support of individuals, foundations and businesses.
  • Junior Achievement lessons are delivered by a workforce of volunteers who are dedicated to bringing in real life, experiential lessons to the students of Tampa Bay.
  • JA is one of a few global non-profits to use independent, third party evaluators to gauge the impact of its programs. Since 1993, independent evaluators have conducted studies on JA’s effectiveness. Findings prove that JA has a positive impact in a number of critical areas.
  • Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay is nationally recognized by Junior Achievement Worldwide as one of the finest operations in the United States being awarded the Summit Award for twenty-two consecutive years.

Junior Achievement is the recognized leader in “empowering young people to own their economic success®” through volunteer-led, experiential learning. We are dedicated to providing a positive, enriching learning experience free of bias. Junior Achievement welcomes K-12 students, volunteers and potential staff regardless of race, religion, age, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other legally protected characteristic.