Financial literacy educator Junior Achievement and its skilled workforce partner CrossKnowledge have been recognized for “Best Advance for Leading Under a Crisis” for pivoting to a “Digital First” model in response to COVID-19. They received a Bronze Award of Excellence by the Brandon Hall Group, an international research and analyst firm. All Junior Achievement chapters contributed to receipt of the honor.
“The impact of the pandemic on schools prompted Junior Achievement as a national organization to embrace a ‘digital-first’ approach to delivering our learning experiences to young people across the country,” said MC Desrosiers, senior vice president of Education and Learning Technologies for Junior Achievement USA. “This award demonstrates how Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada and other JA organizations across the country rose to the challenge and utilized technology to share lessons in critical life skills with young people at an especially challenging time.”
Under the leadership of Michelle Jackson, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada (JASN), the nonprofit was able to offer a nearly seamless transition with its school partners – vital to JASN access to students – to meet curricula needs for financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. By December 31, 2020, 95 percent of JASN programs had been moved to a virtual platform that has continued to allow thousands of students to participate in JASN programs.
“Program continuity has helped students learn they have the ability to navigate the pandemic’s disruptive circumstances, equipped with more tools to be even more prepared than their predecessors,” she said. “These youth truly learned the value of saving for a rainy day, a JASN message that has more meaning for them and their families than ever before.”
In addition to quarantining and other safety measures, many nonprofit organizations stalled or failed during the pandemic due to budget cuts and diversion in public funding. Jackson positioned JASN to continue operating seamlessly, and it emerged even stronger. Taking a page out of Junior Achievement curriculum, she gathered a team of advisors and the JASN board of directors and created a plan that ensured JASN would continue to provide vital financial literacy lessons to Clark County School District students while expanding partnerships in the nonprofit sector.
“I don’t need to remind anyone how challenging the last year-and-a-half has been and continues to be. All businesses, organizations and nonprofit agencies had to abruptly reorganize to remain open and successful,” said Michelle Ansani, chairwoman of JASN board of directors. “The pandemic proved to me and the rest of the Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada board just how imperative financial literacy is and the value of Michelle Jackson and her team. It is no surprise that with Michelle at the helm, Junior Achievement remains strong, if not stronger. By adopting a virtual platform, we continue delivering programs to students and empowering youth to own their economic success.”
Ansani added, “As if this wasn’t enough, Michelle’s approach and leadership fostered the implementation of new opportunities by way of innovative additional programming, such as the JA Inspire online and interactive career exploration program. These new programs have not only allowed Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada to continue to meet the needs of educators and students while distance learning, but they have actually bolstered the financial literacy curriculum, thereby better preparing youth for job readiness and entrepreneurship.”
About Brandon Hall Group
Brandon Hall Group is a research and analyst firm, with more than 10,000 clients globally and 25 years of delivering research-based solutions that empower excellence in organizations around the world through our research and tools each and every day. Our vision is to inspire a better workplace experience. Our mission is to empower excellence in organizations around the world through our research and tools each and every day. Visit http://www.brandonhall.com/excellenceawards/ for more information.
CrossKnowledge empowers global organizations to continuously develop a skilled workforce. Its multi awarded digital learning solution uniquely combines digital content for the most in-demand skills, a powerful learning platform and expert capabilities to create impactful learning experiences. For over 20 years, CrossKnowledge has been recognized as a partner for effective skill building at scale, with unmatched expertise and accountability thanks to its client success team. CrossKnowledge serves 500 clients, reaching 12 million learners. CrossKnowledge is part of Wiley, a leader in Research and Education, helping people and organizations develop the skill and knowledge they need to succeed. Visit https://www.crossknowledge.com/ for more information.
About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.5 million students per year in 115 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 120 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.
About Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada
Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, Inc. is dedicated to providing financial education to K-12 students with age-appropriate virtual and live curriculum that spans from budget management to economic principals, workforce skills and credit. Founded locally in 1996, the local nonprofit organization has reached more than 450,000 students in the Las Vegas area with the help of 285 businesses and 6,800 business role models. For more information, visit https://jasnv.org/ and follow on Instagram and Facebook.
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