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Junior Achievment

Mission: To inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Junior Achievement fosters the future success and economic health of young people and the communities in which they live. We do this by providing hands-on elementary and secondary programs focused on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Through these programs and the support of businesses and individuals, JA reinforces the relevancy of schools' curriculum and empowers young people to own their economic success.


Junior Achievement is a global organization that was established in 1919. JA of the Heartland began serving the Quad Cities and surrounding communities in 1956. We have grown from serving 155 students in 1956 to more than 55,000 in 2014.

Junior Achievement is the only nonprofit organization in the world dedicated to youth, education and economic development.

Our volunteers and board members put in countless hours – through programs, schools and events across 24 counties. And while we measure success based on the personal growth of each of our students, sometimes it’s fun to put a little math behind it too!

  • More than 55,000 kindergarten through high school students are reached each year with our programming options (When we were formed in 1956 that number was 155).
  • We work with more than 80 school districts, and enter more than 2,600 classrooms
  • More than 3,900 volunteers bring our curriculum to life, sharing their personal stories and experiences to educate our students
  • To divide it out: 73% of our students are elementary age, 17% are in middle grade, and 10% are in high school.
  • Our program mix is 82% in-school programs, 13% JA World programs (JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park®) and 5% specialized programs (Executive for Ethics, Career Expos, Penny Power, Urban Enterprises, etc.).
  • We are the 20th largest JA Area in the U.S. based on students served.
  • JA of the Heartland was the 3rd JA Area to pilot JA BizTown® in 1999.
  • JA of the Heartland was the 1st JA Area to pilot JA Finance Park® in 2003.

Our hands-on programs prepare students to:

  1. Proactively manage their finances
  2. Be entrepreneurial
  3. Develop career-readiness skills that will be recognized and valuable in a global workforce A unique component to the success of JA is our partnership with community volunteers who teach our K-12 curriculum while sharing their own personal experiences with the students. As a result, students connect classroom learning to real-world issues and understand the value of their education. Volunteering for JA is a great way to get involved with your child's school! Our volunteers tell us that volunteering is easy.

You receive training and all the materials you need to be successful in the classroom. Visits typically last less than an hour, and involve five to seven visits. You can also call our office at 309-736-1630

Eight out of ten JA high school students agree that participation in JA programs reinforces the value of an education and the importance of staying in school.

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