Junior Achievement: Creating tomorrow’s leaders

Giving By Emily Larson Mar 6, 2020

Many young adults face barriers to gaining a quality education, including a lack of role models, structural encouragement and access to sufficient economic resources.

That is why the Western Union Foundation partners with Junior Achievement – Rocky Mountain (JA) to address these needs in our hometown of Denver, Colorado. The Foundation’s mission aligns closely with the mission of JA – to provide young people the skills and social resources needed to succeed in the 21st-century workplace and global economy.

JA is dedicated to motivating young people for self-sufficiency, career success and financial acumen, serving more than 115,000 students annually. These students get to hear from real-world business professionals, including volunteers from Western Union, about the successes and challenges that formed their journey to educational attainment and career advancement. These accessible, real-life examples of people who have traveled this path are critical reinforcement of the students’ own possibility, offering optimism, inspiration and motivation.

The Western Union Foundation proudly supports JA’s Personal Success program, where volunteers work directly with high school students. These volunteers conduct mock job interviews, teach the students how to build a resume, search for jobs, and how to present themselves in a business environment. Many of these volunteers are themselves Western Union employees; one WU compliance manager was recently recognized by JA for his 16-years of volunteer service by teaching and inspiring more than 1,500 students.

The Western Union Foundation’s impact is exemplified in the many stories of JA Teachers and mentors inspiring and motivating students: Meet Hilary Wimmer, a business teacher at Mountain Range High School, 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year, and 2019 JA Teacher of the Year. Wimmer’s commitment to helping students build the financial literacy skills they need to be ready for college and career has built the confidence of countless students.

Junior Achievement support enhances what I do to empower these young women and men, who are the future.

See what they have to say about her and the inspiration and empowerment she has given them.

Learn more about the work of the Western Union Foundation across the globe here. Follow us on Twitter @TheWUFoundation.