JA Fact Sheet

What is Junior Achievement?

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest non profit organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.


Junior Achievement’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Program Reach

JA of Northeastern reaches more than 19,000 students annually. These students represent schools from twelve counties in Northeastern NY from Poughkeepsie to Lake George and west to Johnstown.

JA Worldwide reaches more than 10.4  million students per year in various locations around the globe. JA programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the United States and in more than 120 countries around the world.


JA has programs in 899 classrooms throughout Northeastern New York. Each is instructed by volunteer mentors from all walks of life to include business people, college students, parents, and retirees. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of the organization.

Proven Success

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. These results are available upon request.


Richard Ferro, Principal Broker and Manager, Berkshire Hathaway Blake Realtors, serves as chair of the Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York board of directors. Derek Martin is the  President and CEO of the organization. A total of 45 JA board members represent a wide range of businesses and organizations representing education and academic institutions throughout the area. In addition, an advisory committees guides operations in the Adirondack Region.

A Brief History

Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Its first program, JA Company Program, was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, the organization entered the classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades. Over the last 30 years, JA has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school and after-school students in grades K-12. JA was first brought to the Capital Region in 1953 by the ELFUNS, a volunteer organization of General Electric.

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JA operates on an annual budget of more than $600,000 generated predominately through private sector funding and special events. Other sources include individual contributors, foundations and service clubs.

For More Information, Contact:

Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York, Inc. (Headquarters)
8 Stanley Circle
Latham, NY 12110
(518) 783-4336