JANI logo

Reflecting back on our own educational and career experience, and the experiences of those closest to us, it can be easy to imagine that ours wasn’t necessarily all that unique:  attending college, obtaining a degree, and entering the business world or starting a business.  What we might not imagine, however, are the startling statistics set forth on the Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana (JANI) website:[1]

  • 20% of U.S. students will not complete high school on time and earn a diploma.
  • 49% of U.S. employers recognize that talent shortages impact their ability to serve clients and customers.
  • 36% of Americans say that they have at some point in their lives felt their financial situation was out of control.
  • 91% of millennials wish they had greater access to entrepreneurial education programs.

Junior Achievement (JA) helps students in grades K-12 realize that the educational path they are on today is directly tied to their future success – whether that path includes trade school, college, or an entrepreneurial pursuit.  More than 100 million young people have participated in JA programs since its inception in 1919 and, today, JA is preparing young people to succeed in a global economy![1]

With more than 100 Junior Achievement locations across the U.S., JA is “the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices” – via a dedicated network of more than 230,000 classroom volunteers from all walks of life who are looking to make a difference in young people’s lives.

According to the JANI website, “Our programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.”

All JA programs correlate to both State and Common Core Standards.  Focusing on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, the programs are making a big impact in a number of areas.  In fact, JA hires an independent third-party evaluator to gauge the impact of its programs.  In 2016, JA surveyed more than 700 JA alumni to better understand the overall impact the organization has on its participants.  Education, career, finances, entrepreneurship, and income were some of the metrics included in the survey, and the results speak for themselves[2]: 

JA stats from JANI website research paper

One of the ways Junior Achievement is able to make such an incredible impact is through their JA BizTown® program, which serves to show young people how the business world works and gives them a glimpse of life outside their families and schools.  JA BizTown is a hands-on simulated community where students learn about the connection between what they learn in school and life in the real world.  Until this year, the closest JA BizTown for Northern Indiana students was Fort Wayne – but thanks to the tremendous support of generous donors who believe in the mission, a brand new JA BizTown is now fully operational in Elkhart, Indiana (located inside ETHOS Innovation Center)!   

Tina M. Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Indiana Trust Vice President, Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement at Indiana Trust, reflects back on her own experience with Junior Achievement, “I remember attending JA while in grade school and the impact it had on me as a youth.  I’m certain JA is what inspired my love for business concepts and encouraged me to pursue this great career I’ve enjoyed for so many years.”

Congratulations to Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight award recipient for August 2022, for preparing young people to succeed in a global economy!  

Pictured below:  Area students who are clearly loving their JA BizTown experience!  

Paige at JA Biztown(c) Elkhart
Rudy at JA Biztown(c) Elkhart

“One of the best things JA does and can do is help students understand how to live in a balanced budget. Understand the lifestyle you can have on an income. Understand what matters most in life and how to fund it.”
— Scott Prochazka, President and CEO of CenterPoint

“I had business know-how. Without Junior Achievement, it might have been a mystery. I used my Junior Achievement experience and my can-do attitude to put together a business plan on how to get to the break-even point…today the company exceeds $150 million in revenue. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Junior Achievement.”
— Bob Coughlin, Founder and CEO, Paycor

Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana check presentation
Pictured above, left to right: Dani Elgas, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana Development Director, St. Joseph County; Tina M. Patton, CSOP™, CISM®, Indiana Trust Vice President, Director of Nonprofit & Foundation Engagement; and Jessica Hilary, Director of Development, Junior Achievement & Lemonade Day serving Elkhart County.

Learn more about Junior Achievement

•    See what all the buzz is about, at the JA BizTown Community Day / Lemonade Day event on Saturday, August 6, 2022, inside ETHOS Innovation Center in Elkhart!  https://jalemonade.org/donate/
•    Get to know the JA programs:  https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/junior-achievement-of-northern-ind...


1.    JANI website https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/junior-achievement-of-northern-ind...
2.    JA USA research https://www.juniorachievement.org/documents/20009/133368/JA%20Alumni%20R...

Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight Feature

About the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight Program
Indiana Trust Wealth Management launched the Indiana Trust Nonprofit Spotlight program initiative in January 2021, which consists of recognizing, rewarding, and promoting a nonprofit organization in one or more of the company’s footprint areas on a monthly basis, as a way to highlight various nonprofit organizations throughout the year and bring attention to the good work being done in the communities they serve. Under the Nonprofit Spotlight initiative, the nonprofit organization will receive a $1,000 corporate donation and be eligible for employee gift-matching throughout the year. David R. Kibbe, JD, President & CEO, states, “As a majority employee-owned company, matching our employees’ contributions is an opportunity for Indiana Trust to support those nonprofits whose missions connect with our employees."
About Indiana Trust Wealth Management
Chartered in 1988 as the first independent trust company in the state of Indiana, and now with more than $2 billion in assets under management, Indiana Trust is deeply committed to the communities they serve.  Advising clients and their families nationwide, Indiana Trust is dedicated to increasing financial security by providing superior, ethical, and unbiased wealth management and advisory solutions – delivering legacies built on trust.

Indiana Trust offers comprehensive wealth management strategies for individual and family wealth, business retirement plans, charitable organizations, foundations, and endowments – delivered with the fiduciary standard of care, a multigenerational commitment, and excellence in stewardship. The company is majority employee-owned with offices in Mishawaka, Elkhart, and Muncie.

Find out more at www.IndTrust.com.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES: All info contained herein is solely for general informational purposes. It does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor and is not to be construed as legal, accounting, investment, or other professional advice. The author(s) and publisher, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with the use of this material or action taken in reliance thereon. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure this material is correct at the time of publication.  Copyright Indiana Trust Wealth Management 2022.