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  • Junior Achievement, an Invaluable Investment

    by Tom Kertes

    Junior Achievement (JA) is an investment in the future. But the “IPO 2000” theme of the organization’s annual breakfast meant a lot more than the basic every-day Initial Public Offering for the hundreds of New York business persons invited.

    “This IPO is an ‘Incredible Personal Opportunity’ to take stock in the common good,” host Ron Insana, host of CNBC, “the Business Center,” said. “You can take stock in the common good by becoming a stakeholder in the future of children throughout New York City’s five boroughs and Long Island,” added co-host Sue Herera. “The Return On Investment is unparalleled.”

    To achieve this “market penetration,” Junior Achievement’s leadership is currently developing new program spin-offs, including mentorships, workplace experiences, and special alliances through an innovative compact with the New York City Board of Education and the City’s Public School System.

    “With the signing of the compact, JA and the New York City Public Schools created a more secure bond,” said Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy, who came from the business world himself. “Since 1929, JA New York has been the leading force in bringing quality economics education to our kids. Today, with a strong roster of business volunteers who bring real-life situations and solutions to the classroom, JA New York is truly a broker of experiences.”

    “Our goal is to closely acquaint every child with the workings of the free enterprise system,” Douglas Schallau, President of JA New York. “There is nothing like the impression a practical experience makes, student after student tells us. In a very serious, very profound way, we are changing lives.”

    “Some people ask whether we are really relevant,” added Schallau. “How about a 25 per-cent annual growth since 1980? Wouldn’t any one of you be more than happy with that kind of return? We are touching the lives of over 216,000 students every year, hoping to be up to 250,000 by the year 2005. We are showing students the practical side of free enterprise, one of the fundamentals of our democracy.”

    With 75 companies currently matched with schools through JA New York, the whole school model is off to a successful start. “It’s a win-win situation for all parties,” Insana said. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am telling you, this is the best investment you’ll ever make.”#

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