PHOENIX — A Valley nonprofit is taking lessons learned during the pandemic to reach tens of thousands of students across Arizona.
ABC15 was there as ninth-graders at Camelback High School learned about financial literacy, budgeting, and entrepreneurship. The group, a small part of the 80,000 K-12th graders across the state projected to benefit from programming provided by Junior Achievement of Arizona this year.
"It's even more relevant today," said Karen Quick, who was involved with JA when she was in high school. Now, 35 years later, Quick is a dedicated volunteer focused on helping students of all ages to create a more financially sound future.
"If kids don't understand today how to plan for that, how to think about their futures, they're going to be lost," said Quick.
Teacher Maria Abrams has watched many of Camelback High School's students put these lessons into practice over the past 18 months.
"They had to find the jobs, they were the ones that were providing for the families because their parents lost their jobs, or their parents were high risk," said Abrams.
Like so many nonprofits, Junior Achievement went entirely online during the height of the pandemic. Now, with volunteers back in person, JA is keeping those virtual options too. Leaders say they are hoping to maximize impact during a time it is needed most.
"We give them the skills, the hard skills to be able to manage their money and succeed in their futures," said Anne Landers, JA's VP of strategic impact, "but we also give them the belief about what's possible for their personal futures and help them step into those possibilities."
Junior Achievement has free resources available right now for students and adults. Click here for more information.