For almost 70 years, Junior Achievement has been teaching Stark County students to take control of their futures. Through relevant financial, career prep and entrepreneurship programming, kindergartners through high school seniors connect with local business volunteers, setting them up for success as they transition to professional life. Traditionally, volunteers bring JA content directly to kids’ classrooms, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes were quickly implemented to meet individual school needs. JA Virtual Inspire grew and flourished from this need.

As vital student events drew to an abrupt close, the JA team went to work. JA Virtual Inspire (March 10th, 2021) brings career exploration to Stark County teens, regardless of learning environment. With 13 of the 48 businesses to date representing Stark, students will explore company booths to discover how they can connect with internship, job shadow and other opportunities right now. Currently, 3,254 local teens from 11 schools are completing pre-event activities to guide their JA Virtual Inspire experience. With 90 days to explore the virtual platform, students are invited to dive deep and share their findings with family and friends.

JA will be working closely with community organizations in Stark, such as Mentor Stark, to impact students after the event. By connecting teens with local companies to facilitate job shadows and other opportunities, JA hopes to bring awareness to the variety of jobs and organizations within the Stark ecosystem. Interested in being represented at JA Virtual Inspire? Contact Josh Lehman (Joshua.Lehman@ja.org) for details.