Junior Achievement of Georgia (JAG) was founded in Atlanta in 1943 as an after-school program. Since then it has reached more than 84,000 students statewide each year through district offices in Atlanta, Augusta, Dalton, Gainesville, and Savannah. JAG’s parent organization has existed since 1919 to encourage young people to value free enterprise, business, and economics to improve the quality of their lives. As of 2005, Junior Achievement has affected the lives of more than 65 million young people globally through 150 affiliates in all 50 states and 98 foreign countries.
JAG is governed by a board of directors comprising local business and community leaders. It participates in the National Groundhog Job Shadow Coalition, created in 1997, by running a year-round program through which students spend work days with people in the business world. Since 1990 JAG has also hosted the annual Atlanta Business Hall of Fame to recognize and honor individuals who have significantly contributed to the city’s business community and set high standards for the state’s young people.
JAG programs prepare children in kindergarten though twelfth grade for entering the workforce by teaching them about free enterprise and business, developing character skills, and reinforcing the value of education. The interactive lessons are developed by the nation’s leading educators and are aligned with Georgia’s education standards.
In response to the high dropout rate among Hispanic youth in Georgia, JAG implemented the Junior Achievement Hispanic Initiative in 2002. This three-year pilot program is designed to encourage Hispanic students to stay in school and prepare for success in the American workforce.
At JAG’s online Student Center, visitors can obtain information on such practical matters as how to choose a college, apply for student loans, manage money, or even start a business.