Feb 18, 2024

JA Inspire 2024 inspires middle school students in Palm Beach County


Boundless Futures through Education | Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure CoastJunior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast holds their annual JA Inspire visiting three different middle schools this year in Palm Beach County. 

Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast has served 810,727 K-12 students since 1981 throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Hendry counties. The mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy through classroom programs and simulations that focus on financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship.

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Erica Eggerman from Max Planck Florida Institutue for Neuroscience speaks with students at Palm Springs Community Middle School.

JA Inspire is more than a career fair. In collaboration with the Palm Beach County School District, the event brings together the business community and local schools and is designed to help launch middle school students into their futures: high school, college and beyond. During the JA Inspire expo which is held in-person within multiple middle schools, students participate in hands-on activities, often experiencing equipemt or tools used on the job. The experience is configurable to align with local industry and career opportunities based on the four competencies: creativity, collaboration, commuication, and critical thinking.

This year’s JA Inspire Palm Beach County ‘s 2024 events were held at the following middle schools:

Local companies have the chance to showcase their industry passion, career opportunities, engage with students through hands-on activities, and make a lasting impression on the future workforce of Palm Beach County. On the other hand, students get to connect with professionals from some of the region’s most prominent employers, explore career pathways and learn about the skills needed for in-demand jobs, explore their own interests with a variety of career opportunities, and strengthen their coursework pathway for high school and beyond.

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Marcia Andrews (middle), Palm Beach County School District Board Member attends JA Inspire at Emerald Cove Middle School.

Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast had a goal of impacting 8,600 students in the 2022 – 2023 school year. With support from organizations such as the Glenn W. Bailey Foundation and Wells Fargo, they were able to serve over 146,000 students overall! Over 98,600 students alone were reached through just three programs: JA Inspire, JA Career Speaker Series, and JA High School programs.

“I’m so happy for Junior Achievement [of the Palm Beach & Treasure Coast]. They always have the forsight to make sure they are in the schools making sure students knew all of the things they have needed to know as related to careers, academics, and relationships,” said Marcia Andrews, Palm Beach County School District Board Member.

She added, “When you begin to learn you need to kind of connect the careers with all the things you are learning in math, science, and technology.”

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John Riley, Co-Founder AVA Intelligence

From the marine industry to healthcare and technology, multiple industries were represented. Volunteers gave their time to showcase the career opportunities, advancements in their fields, and the impact you could make in your local communities. One of those volunteers was John Riley III, Co-Founder of AVA Intelligence, South Florida Tech Hub member, Levan Center Cyber Range sales director, and loyal JA volunteer.

“I would like to give a big thank you to Lauren Henderson of Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast for the invitation to participate in another remarkable event for their JA Inspire program,” wrote John in a social media post. “Interacting with the students and addressing their technology questions was a truly rewarding experience.”

Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman

Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman, Principal at Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington, shared “This is a preview for their future. This is an opportunity for them to dip their toe into different careers and different opportunities that they have for their future.

If you are interested in taking part in JA Inspire or future Junior Achievement volunteer opportunities, please visit www.palmbeachtreasurecoast.ja.org for more info on events, donation and speaking opportunities.