For the Reporter
Walmart has donated $40,000 and 10,000 in-kind donation items such as snack items, school supplies and Walmart vests to Junior Achievement Washington (JA), the local branch to one of the nation’s largest organizations dedicated to student work readiness and economic literacy.
Walmart’s donation sponsors two storefronts in JA’s experiential learning spaces, BizTown and Finance Park, at 1610 Perimeter Road, Auburn. The storefronts are open and ready for students participating in JA World’s hands-on business experiences.
Friday, Oct. 5 marked the opening and ribbon cutting for the new storefronts. The Washington State Director of Veterans Affairs, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos; and the City of Auburn’s Economic Development Team attended the event. Auburn School District students were the first to test out the new storefronts.
“As a storefront partner, Walmart is empowering Junior Achievement to bring hands-on JA World experiences to more Washington youth,” said Natalie Vega O’Neil, Junior Achievement president and CEO. “We could not deliver our education programs without support from partners like Walmart, and we are humbled by the opportunity to work every day with WA’s future leaders to nurture ideas that we know will change the world and helps kids transform their dreams into firm financial reality. These young people represent a treasure trove of potential for our communities.
“Together, Walmart and JA will educate and inspire youth with JA World experiences that go beyond fundamental concepts by engaging them in hands-on, real-life activities that mirror what they will encounter in the future.”
Junior Achievement’s mission is to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. One of their main programs is JA World, an experiential learning space with storefronts sponsored by local businesses. Students complete a class curriculum to learn basic economic principles and then participate in a day of business simulations in JA World’s mini cities, either performing a job or managing a personal budget. BizTown serves fourth through sixth grade students and Finance Park serves middle and high school students, reaching more than 81,000 students annually in Washington and Northern Idaho.