ON Semiconductor and the ON Semiconductor Foundation Empower Students to own their Economic Success with the Help of Junior Achievement of Arizona
For 64 years, Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) has been preparing kids in K-12 to succeed in work and life by giving them the skills needed to manage their money, succeed in their careers and think entrepreneurially. Since its founding, JA has served more than three million students, 65% of whom currently come from low-income households. Moreover, their annual base of 8,000 volunteers serve as mentors to guide the kids down the right path in life.
ON Semiconductor and the ON Semiconductor Foundation supported JA in many ways during the 2020-2021 program year:
Provided JA science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum to 1,369 students at Pat Tillman Middle School in Phoenix, led by 14 ON Semiconductor employees. This event was organized by an affinity network group, STEM UP, at ON Semiconductor that is dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math for underrepresented populations. The fourth through sixth grade students received critical financial literacy, workforce readiness, exposure to STEM careers and entrepreneurship education.
“ON Semiconductor has had the pleasure of supporting the JA STEM Summit at Pat Tillman Middle School for two years. Our volunteers have taught classrooms creative and hands-on STEM activities,” said Nehal Shah, enterprise risk management program manager and chair for STEM UP at ON Semiconductor. “It’s rewarding to see students grasping the concepts and working as a team to do their best.”
Sponsored the annual JA Stock Market Challenge, which successfully pivoted online as a virtual event. The program is a simulation-based learning experience that gives students an understanding of the stock market. High-school and college students are provided with in-class lessons leading up to the event, and then put their new skills to the test in a mock stock exchange.
“ON Semiconductor has always enjoyed supporting the JA Stock Market Challenge – both with volunteers for in-class instruction and team sponsorships. The event does a tremendous job providing the students a unique experience to help advance their knowledge and understanding of capital markets and prepare them for future corporate jobs or personal investments,” said Tyler Lacey, senior manager of financial planning & analysis at ON Semiconductor and board treasurer of the ON Semiconductor Foundation.
Sponsored students participating in the virtual JA Finance Park. Students will gain valuable money management, career exposure and career readiness skills. In fact, nearly 2,000 junior and senior high school students will get to learn about STEM skills that will be in high demand for the 21st century.
“Investing in the communities in which we operate and where our employees live is critical to our organization as we look to continue our legacy of giving and volunteering,” said Theresa Haywood-McCarley, senior director of corporate social responsibility at ON Semiconductor and board secretary for the ON Semiconductor Foundation.
Innovating in a COVID-19 World
JA’s education is needed more than ever. With employment instability, civil unrest and compounding crises, financial stability and economic security are even more critical. JA’s proven programs give kids the skills they need to navigate the complexities of adulthood. In fact, based on the results from a 2020 JA Alumni survey by Ipsos, we know that:
Students that participate in JA's programming are 6% more likely to graduate high school than the general population
4 in 5 of JA alumni report Junior Achievement played an important role in their decision to pursue further education and in choosing their career path
JA students have 34% higher critical thinking skills than non-JA students
80% of JA alumni report that JA gave them the belief that they could achieve their goals
When COVID-19 hit, JA stopped all in-person programming. JA transitioned its more than 20 programs online for the first time in the organization’s 64-year history. This pivot enabled JA to serve 63,430 during the 2019-20 school year, despite school closures.
“JA is courageously implementing all our programs with thousands of Arizona students, in an effort to meet the needs of students today, expedite innovation and ensure life-changing impact for our students, now and in the future,” said Anne Landers, JA’s vice president of strategic impact.
“JA Anywhere”: Reaching students where and how they are learning today
Landers continued, “Now, more than ever, we must invest in today’s young people. Their needs have changed. We must prepare today’s youth to thrive in their futures, no matter the challenges they’ll face.”
JA is reaching students in the classroom through a variety of synchronous and asynchronous digital methods and has launched programs so students can receive the same education at-home for the first time. Additionally, JA is providing curriculum and resources to other youth nonprofits including Boys & Girls Clubs, Arizona Helping Hands, Friendly House and YMCA.
Already this 2020-2021 school year, 30,000 students completed or were in-progress in JA programs at the end of the fall semester.
JA’s “My Big Idea” is an example of the organization’s new impactful programming. The five-week entrepreneurship program for 10- to 12-year-old kids helps them start their own business with the support of JA mentors virtually. My Big Idea piloted in September 2020 and resulted in a 39.5% knowledge gain for participating students, based on post-test results.
Through the program, 12-year-old Caitlyn started Meaningful Masks, selling masks with inspirational statements.
She said, "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."
“We are grateful for the longtime partnership with ON Semiconductor and the ON Semiconductor Foundation,” said Dena Kidd, senior development officer at JA. “With many careers focusing on STEM, ON Semiconductor and the ON Semiconductor Foundation are helping JA teach these critical skills so that our students will be prepared for these high impact high demand jobs.”
For more information about how ON Semiconductor supports youth in the community, visit the ON Semiconductor Foundation page.