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Junior Achievement’s JA Inspire launches for all eighth-grade Duval County Public School students

December 8th, 2021 · Leave a Comment

Junior Achievement of North Florida’s JA Inspire Virtual Career Exploration Program will now be taught to all eighth-grade students in Duval County Public Schools.

The program was recently launched to more than 7,000 students who will be introduced to career opportunities that have high growth and earning potential in Northeast Florida. They will also be introduced to the education path to those careers before they begin their high school coursework.

JA Inspire began as a pilot program in the Duval County Public Schools Career and Technical Education Department in January 2021 and was delivered to more than 1,600 students. It was such a success that Duval County Public Schools decided to adopt the program and launch it to the entire eighth-grade student population.

During the program, students will be given a digital career workbook that includes a personality quiz to help them find a career that suits their talents and values. They will participate in five in-class JA Inspire sessions led by their teacher. After completion, they will move on to the virtual career expo where they will enter a virtual convention center into a virtual lobby where there will be an information center and an auditorium where they can participate in webinars along with other students.

The students can visit virtual exhibition halls focused on eight industry categories, known as career clusters. Those career clusters include arts and creative; business administration, finance and marketing; education and student resources; health and biomedical; human services, hospitality, tourism, and sports; law, government, public safety, corrections, and security; STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics); and transportation, logistics, construction, and manufacturing.

The exhibition halls feature company booths with pamphlets, videos and other resources developed by the industry leaders. Students can find resume tips and other career information from JA Inspire sponsors including Southeastern Grocers, Black Knight, FIS, Firehouse Subs, Citi, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Florida Rock & Tank, Truist, Florida Blue, Wells Fargo, Johnson & Johnson, and TIAA Bank.

Following the expo, students will take part in a sixth session focused on their future career plans and the classes they should focus on to achieve their goals. Students will be able to access all the JA Inspire resources including the virtual career expo at any time for the entire school year. They will also have access to the free JA Build Your Future app which will help students and parents calculate the cost of postsecondary education to achieve career goals as well as earning potential.

JA of North Florida will provide teachers with all the training and logistics for JA Inspire. JA of North Florida has plans to open up the JA Inspire program to all 11th grade Duval County Public School students next spring. They are continuing to add exhibitors to the virtual career fair. Companies or organizations interested in connecting with students to make a difference and in promoting resources and opportunities should contact Tiffany Guthrie at tiffany@janfl.org or call (904) 398-9944, ext. 230.

The nonprofit will also have volunteer opportunities in the second half of the school year. Visit www.janfl.org to learn how to get involved.

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