Junior Achievement is an educational nonprofit bringing work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurial programs to the classroom, from kindergarten through high school.

In partnership with Fifth Third Bank and the School City of East Chicago, it is the largest organization in the world dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.


Junior Achievement programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate and effectively manage wealth, how to create job opportunities which helps to sustain their community, and how to apply entrepreneurial concepts to the workplace. By putting these lessons into action, students learn the value of contributing to their communities.  The essential goal of this program is to increase student achievement, student confidence and to help them realize their career aspirations and potential.


Junior Achievement in East Chicago


Junior Achievement’s unique approach also affords volunteers from the community, more specifically students from Purdue University Calumet, the opportunity to deliver our curriculum while sharing their experiences with students. Embodying the heart of Junior Achievement, classroom volunteers convert the key concepts of lessons into a message that inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, authenticating that they can make a difference in the world. Through this in-school program, students are afforded the opportunity to begin thinking about their college and career plan early in life, so that they can adjust their plans early if they are not in alignment with their future goals. The program primarily operates from East Chicago middle schools, specifically Block Middle School and West Side.


According to Katie Hobgood, program manager for Junior Achievement of Chicago, “a better East Chicago, in our eyes, is one where every child has the knowledge and skills to own their economic success, plan for the future and make smart academic and economic choices.”


J.A. programs empower students to make as connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world – enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school. By focusing on education, economic and youth development, J.A. programs contribute to the vitality of our community and the availability of a new workforce.


“Over the past five years alone, the support of the Foundations of East Chicago has allowed us to reach over 5,300 students in the East Chicago School System with our programs. That is an amazing impact, and we could not have sustained such a large outreach without their help,” program leader Katie Hobgood said.


To learn more about scholarship opportunities, check out our website, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.