Middle School

Junior Achievement has several highly effective programs for middle grades students that reinforce the value of workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Students are introduced to many economic concepts and useful facts about the working world.

The middle grades programs build on concepts the students learned in Junior Achievement’s elementary school program and help teens make difficult decisions about how to best prepare for their educational and professional future. The programs supplement standard social studies curricula and develop communication skills that are essential to success in the business world.


JA’s middle grades programs for students in grades 6-8 include economics and business curricula and a capstone experience. The dynamic interaction between the volunteer and students promotes active learning and brings theory to life.

NEW! JA It’s My Future™ provides practical information about preparing for the world of work while still in middle school.

Concepts- Brand, career clusters, career mapping, career planning, employee, high growth jobs, interests, job application, job forecast, job hunting, job interview, logo, long-term consequences, personal brand, recommendation, short-, middle-, and long-term goals, skills, soft skills, symbolism, tagline, technical skills, working environment, resumes.

Skills- Analyzing data, analyzing information, categorizing data, creativity, following written instructions, goal-setting, interviewing, mapping, model building, oral and visual presentation, oral and written communication, organizing information, reading for understanding, self-assessment, working in pairs and groups.

JA America Works® provides students with examples of how business and entrepreneurship affected the economic development of the United States during the 19th century. Six required, volunteer-led activities.

Concepts–Benefit, Boomtown, Capital resources, Communication, Competition, Cost, Cost-benefit analysis, Demand, Emigration, Entrepreneurship, Human resources, Immigration, Industrialization, Innovation, Invention, Modes of transportation, Natural resources, Opportunity cost, Productive resources, Productivity, Pull factor, Push factor, Risk, Scarcity, Supply, Technology, Telegraphy.

Skills–Analyzing information, Critical-thinking skills, Decision-making, Decoding messages, Encoding messages, Gathering, interpreting, and organizing information, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Planning, Reading and interpreting data, Working in groups.

JA Economics for Success® explores personal finance and students’ education and career options based on their skills, interests, and values. It also demonstrates the economic benefits of staying in school. Six required, volunteer-led activities.

Concepts–Credit, Debt, Gross income, Insurance, Interest, Needs and wants, Net income, Opportunity cost, Risk, Self-knowledge, World of work.

Skills–Critical thinking, Decision-making, Following directions, Interpreting data, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Problem-solving, Role-playing, Self-assessment, Working in groups.

JA Global Marketplace® provides practical information about the global economy and its effect on students’ lives. Six required, volunteer-led activities. Recommended for 6th grade.

Concepts–Business practices, Culture, Currency, Domestic trade, Embargo, Emigrate, Entrepreneurship, Exchange rates, Exports, Franchise, Global trade, Human resources, Immigrate, International trade, Market, Productivity, Quota, Standard, Subsidy, Tariff, Technology, Trade, Trade barrier.

Skills–Analyzing points of view, Brainstorming, Critical reading, Critical thinking, Gathering and organizing information, Interpreting maps, charts and globes, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Persuasion, compromise, and bargaining, Working in groups.

JA It’s My Business!® encompasses entrepreneurship curriculum for students in grades six, seven, and eight. The program emphasizes entrepreneurship while providing a strong focus on social studies, reading, and writing skills. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking to learn entrepreneurial skills that support positive attitudes as they explore and enhance their career aspirations. Six required, volunteer-led sessions.

Concepts–Advertising, Apprentice, Auction, Auctioneer, Be Creative and Innovative, Believe in Yourself, Bid, Business, Business Plan, Civic Responsibility, Customer, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Profile, Fill a Need, Know Your customer and product, Market, Marketing, Profit, Self-taught, Social Entrepreneur

Skills–Active-listening, Analyzing information, Brainstorming, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Decision-making, Deductive Reasoning, Estimating, Following Directions, Group Work, Interpreting information, Measuring, Money Management, Oral and Written Communication, Problem-solving, Self-assessment.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.

JA Job Shadow introduces students to careers through one-day, on-site orientations in the workplace. Two teacher-led classroom sessions prior to the work-site visit, and one follow-up classroom session.

Concepts—Building rapport, Business, Careers, Choices, Competition, Consumers, Cover letters, Incentives, Income, Investments, Professional image, Resumes, Self-confidence, Teamwork

Skills—Analyzing situations, Applying information, Asking questions, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Effective communication, Following directions, Making observations, Public speaking, Taking responsibility, Teamwork, Writing

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.