Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County
835 Main Street
Bridgeport CT 06604
Contact Information
Address 835 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604-
Telephone (203) 382-0180 x13
Fax 203-696-2754
E-mail ja@jawct.org
Web and Social Media
Mission
Junior Achievement (JA) is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA's research-driven educational curriculum provides relevant, hands-on experiences that focus on financial literacy, college/career readiness and entrepreneurship.
 
Established in 1919, Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, college/career readiness and entrepreneurial skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global economy. JA reaches 4.8 million students per year in 109 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations worldwide.
 
For more than 60 years, JA of Western Connecticut (JAWCT) and JA of Southwest Connecticut (JASWCT), two separate affiliates of Junior Achieevment USA, have had a positive influence on students, from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in the communities served. In the 2017-2018 school year Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut (JAWCT), working in an innovative partnership with over 1000 volunteers, corporate partners and educators, provided empowering programs to over 20,000 students across 20 towns in the Greater Bridgeport, Greater Danbury and Lower Naugatuck Valley communities.
 
After the cooperation and discernment of both boards and staff of JAWCT and JASWCT, and the help and encouragement of local educators and community members, Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County was formed on July 1, 2018, to be led by the current president of JAWCT. This new 'central' JA operation will better serve the youth (especially at-risk youth) population in Fairfield County, allowing deeper student experiences both in the traditional classroom setting and beyond. This next year, the newly formed organization will continue to strategize both short-term and long-term goals by assessing current structures and gaps so that we will meet our objectives of mission growth.
A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.
 

Junior Achievement's 19th Annual Golf for Kids Invitational

Date: TBD

Location: Greenwich Country Club, Greenwich, CT


Held at the prestigious Greenwich Country Club, this event allows golfers to experience this exquisite course and historic venue. As part of the golfing package, participants enjoy lunch, a round of golf, dinner, and silent and live auctions. As one of our major fundraising events of the year, we project to raise $90,000.  Golf proceeds help  support JA's mission to empower students with life-long skills necessary to own their economic success. Junior Achievements programming reaches over 22,000 elementary, middle, and high school students in the Greater Bridgeport, Danbury, and Valley areas.


Sponsorships for these events are critical for Junior Achievement to continue providing life-changing programs to students in our community. JA programs are delivered at no cost to students or schools. You can make a difference in the lives of local students by participating in this world-class event! For more information, please visit https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-wct/ja-golf-event

A Great Opportunity Ending Date June 21 2018
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1946
Former Names
Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Bernadine Venditto
Board Chair Mr. Craig Winslow
Board Chair Company Affiliation L. Catteron
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission
Junior Achievement (JA) is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA's research-driven educational curriculum provides relevant, hands-on experiences that focus on financial literacy, college/career readiness and entrepreneurship.
 
Established in 1919, Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, college/career readiness and entrepreneurial skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global economy. JA reaches 4.8 million students per year in 109 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations worldwide.
 
For more than 60 years, JA of Western Connecticut (JAWCT) and JA of Southwest Connecticut (JASWCT), two separate affiliates of Junior Achieevment USA, have had a positive influence on students, from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds in the communities served. In the 2017-2018 school year Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut (JAWCT), working in an innovative partnership with over 1000 volunteers, corporate partners and educators, provided empowering programs to over 20,000 students across 20 towns in the Greater Bridgeport, Greater Danbury and Lower Naugatuck Valley communities.
 
After the cooperation and discernment of both boards and staff of JAWCT and JASWCT, and the help and encouragement of local educators and community members, Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County was formed on July 1, 2018, to be led by the current president of JAWCT. This new 'central' JA operation will better serve the youth (especially at-risk youth) population in Fairfield County, allowing deeper student experiences both in the traditional classroom setting and beyond. This next year, the newly formed organization will continue to strategize both short-term and long-term goals by assessing current structures and gaps so that we will meet our objectives of mission growth.
Background Nationally, JA was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph, Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co., and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. These three men sought to provide programs to help youth succeed in an economy rapidly shifting from an agricultural base to the industrial age. This dream was realized through JA's first program, entitled the Company Program, where students formed an actual company under the advisement of volunteers from business and industry. Over the past 90 years, JA has expanded its activities and broadened its scope. By continuing to use adult mentors from the business community to deliver programs and inspire students, JA now helps today's youth prepare for the opportunities and realities of work in the 21st century global marketplace. Each year, over ten million K-12 students in 113 countries receive JA programs, which focus on three themes crucial to youth's economic and educational development: workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut (JAWCT) was founded in 1947 to fulfill that purpose and Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County was formed in 2018 to keep the success of Junior Achievement as far-reaching and impactful as possible.
Impact

Goals:

In alignment with JAGFC's strategic plan, our goal is to continue to increase the middle and high school markets where there is the greatest need and potential for impact.


Accomplishments:
JAGFC's three year strategic plan outlines student growth of 10%; including a shift from elementary to middle elementary school; a focus on underserved communities and an increase in middle and high school markets.  This past year, nearly 600 more students in the Valley received Junior Achievement programming which showcases the dedication that JA staff, Valley educators, parents, administrators and volunteers have to these kinds of programs and their worth.
 
During the 2017-2018 school year, Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County taught 20,570 students about business, jobs and the importance of education for success. 1,200 business and community volunteers provided JA programs to 20 Connecticut towns in the Greater Bridgeport, Lower Naugatuck Valley and Greater Danbury service area resulting in:
  • 5,330 students the Valley area receiving Junior Achievement programming
  • Increased students' understanding of money, the world of work and the importance of education for a successful future
  • Increased mentoring relationships provided by caring adults in the community
  • New business and education partnerships that create a bridge between the classroom and the workplace.
  • Increased student awareness of local businesses, industries and career opportunities. 

 

Program accomplishments include:
- Prudential Virtual Exchange Program: This twelve week pilot concluded in December 2017 with eight groups comprised of students from Fairchild Wheeler Magnet and Errigal College in Donegal presenting their final application design through videoconferencing at the respected Prudential and Pramerica locations. Students not only were mentored by adults in the field but learned 21st century skills in a 21st century manner - virtually! This pilot was a success and the program will continue next year.
- High School Heroes: The High School Heroes program has grown in Bridgeport and the Valley and volunteers, teachers and students are loving it. This allows students from the same neighborhoods hone their leadership skills by teaching Junior Achievement in their backyard, oftentimes in the same Elementary Schools that they attended themselves. This allows younger students to connect with role models who quite literally filled their shoes at one time or another and is an incredible way to give back to their communities.
- #BizDay: First Annual #BizDay workshop for female high school students. Students participated in workshops on speed networking, financial literacy, and mock interviews. They also attended a lunchtime panel entitled "Pathways to Success" where businesswomen from the area shared their career paths as well as challenges met along their path and how they overcame them.
- Virtual Business Challenge: Area high schools (60 students) competed from the comfort of their own classrooms in our first virtual business challenge. Using Junior Achievement’s high school business simulation program, the JA Business Challenge places high school students in the CEO’s seat. Young entrepreneurs are taught in an engaging way about the nuances of running a global business in a competitive, high-tech marketplace. Student teams strategize to operate the most successful virtual business as they develop skills in teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. Companies (teams) are challenged to outperform the competition in profit, sales and market share. Success depends on how well they manage their company's key decisions.
Needs
All programs are provided free of charge to schools and students. Each fiscal year we need to re-raise our organizational budget to deliver existing program and meet requests for program expansion. 
 
1. Volunteers to teach JA programs in grades K-12 in the Greater Bridgeport, Greater Danbury and Lower Naugatuck Valley communities.
2. Funding to support new and existing K-12 programs in the Greater Bridgeport, Greater Danbury and Lower Naugatuck communities.
CEO Statement

JA of Greater Fairfield County's vision is to be a premier organization, making a positive impact on the lives of all students in our service area by developing habits for long term success and giving them a hand up for their future. 

Behind each one of the 22,000+ young people we reach, are many caring and generous adults who donated their time, energy, passion and financial resources.

Members of our team included:

· More than 1,200 volunteers from corporations and the community who invested countless hours of their time; 1,000 educators at 100 schools in 17 communities.

· Many individuals, foundations, corporations and community partners who donated over $360,000 last year.

· More than 700 friends of Junior Achievement who participated in special events that netted over $280,000.

· 17 members of our Board of Directors, along with 5 members of our Valley community board, 10 members of our Danbury community board, 7 members of our Bridgeport community board and members of our Norwalk/Stamford board who are deeply committed to the Junior Achievement mission.

· The incredibly dedicated and hardworking members of JA’s staff.

These numbers underscore what helps to make Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County so effective – the powerful partnership between businesses, schools and the community, all focused on empowering students to own their own economic success. Thank you to each volunteer, educator, funder and community leader who invested time and resources in Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County

We invite you to support this remarkable effort which ensures a brighter future for each of our Junior Achievement students – and, as a result, for our community.

Board Chair Statement
I am proud to see how Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County has grown and evolved to meet the needs of communities it serves and provide skills for the 21stcentury workplace. Though fundraising and allocation of funds are cornerstones of every Junior Achievement, we are also leaders in our region in bringing people together for the benefit of the community. Our volunteers are an incredible resource that fosters direct community involvement through volunteerism.  Additionally, the funds that we raise here in the community stay in that area unless a donor directs them to go elsewhere.Throughout my various experiences as a business executive, Board member and classroom volunteer, I am adamant that JA of Greater FC’s core mission of “work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy,” is more critical now than ever! My goal as Board chair is to continue the great progress we have made in restructuring and building our Boards, strengthening our financial position, and ensuring that our programming is high quality and impactful, particularly in the middle schools and high schools.

I could go on and on about our numerous involvements in the community, but perhaps the best way to keep up with us would be to visit our website www.jawct.org.  We have a 70 year history of meeting the needs of the communities we serve and are excited about the future in positively impacting more young people. We are excited to go forward as this newly formed organization and meet the needs of more students in Connecticut.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development-Business
Areas Served
Derby
Seymour
Shelton
Ansonia
Other
JA of Greater Fairfield County has had a positive influence for students in the following communities: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford, Trumbull, Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Wilton, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Shelton, Norwalk, Stamford and New Canaan, improving educational outcomes for students from all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds by providing empowering financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurial programs for over 22,000 students in grades K-12.
Programs
Description
JA offers a distinct method of empowering youth to own their future economic success. The central theme found across JA’s research-based financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness curriculum is that excellence in school leads to success in the real-world. All programs emphasize this school-to-career idea while teaching real-life concepts, such as ethical decision-making, opportunity costs, money management, career preparation and global competition while reinforcing important life skills, such as critical thinking, public speaking, teamwork, problem solving and budgeting. JA’s K-12 curriculum is organized into grade-specific elementary, middle and high school programs, and taught by local volunteers from the business community during the regular school day. These volunteers are recruited and trained by JA staff, and their time spent in the classroom is fundamental to our success; they lead activities while sharing their own life experiences, challenge students to think beyond their present circumstances, and reinforce basic skills crucial to succeeding in our modern economic system.
All JA programs are FREE to participating schools, volunteers and students. 
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent / At-Risk Populations
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Junior Achievement enhances the relevancy of education, bridging the gap between what students are learning in school and how it can be applied in the real world.
 
Program short term success includes:
-In a recent high school program evaluations 80% of JA students reported that JA helped them see the importance of school.
- Elementary school students who participate in JA possess more basic economics, personal finance, and business knowledge than non-JA students.
- Teachers (95%) and volunteers (92%) report that students who participate in JA have a better understanding of how the real world operates.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Long term program success:
- JA alumni are using the 2010 Junior Achievement Alumni Retrospective Survey to build a solid foundation of financial security that will benefit the world economy. 
 - Research shows that JA has a positive and lasting impact on young people’s economic and career choices and ultimately success.
 - 92% stated that JA positively affected their future.
 - 88% stated JA helped prepare them for the world of work.
 - 84% indicated that JA enabled them to connect what they learned in the classroom to real life.
 - 88% report JA helped them build confidence to manage their personal finances.
 - Over 80% stated JA strengthened their problem solving, decision making, critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills.
 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Upon completion of the project, JAWCT will evaluate the following:
 
Teacher and volunteer surveys solicited from every participant.
to evaluate qualitative results.
 
Pre- and post-tests administered to students to assess knowledge gain of key concepts and attitudinal changes.
 
Date of program completion, number of students and volunteers is verified by JAWCT President and registered with corporate headquarters, JA USA. 
 
Program results are reported to funding sources at the end of each program year, and more often if requested.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
JAWCT reaches nearly 70% of the student population in the city of Shelton. That is the highest participation rate in this region and among the highest participation rates in the state, in part due to the support of Pitney Bowes. JA has succeeded in bringing its programs to the remaining three Valley cities of Ansonia, Derby and Seymour. While maintaining its program impact in the Greater Bridgeport and Greater Danbury areas.

-At Seymour High School JA financial education classes were increased from two to eight classes as requested by the superintendent.

-Perry Hill Middle School received JA programming for the first time. Forty-three business volunteers from Pitney Bowes, Prudential, Perkin Elmer, Rexel Holding and Gexpro delivered the JA Program positively impacting 865 5th and 6th grade students with presentations by Mayor Lauretti and Superintendent Freeman Burr.

-Strengthen the Valley Community Board with new leadership and members:
Chair, Ruth Parkins, Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company and Vice Chair, New member Albert Schneck, Wells Fargo Bank.
 
Additionally a testimonial from a Shelton teacher demonstrates JA programs are having a positive impact on our young people in the Valley area.
"Shelton Intermediate School has been involved in Junior
Achievement for many years. Junior Achievement of Western
Connecticut has helped us so that every year, 100% of our
students receive instruction from Junior Achievement volunteers
through our 'J.A. in 2 Days' program.  It has become a yearly
event at SIS.  The program compliments both our Social Studies
and our Business Education curricula and incorporates writing and
math skills as well.  The volunteers are so well-trained; it is
always a success and a great experience for our students."

Dina Marks
Shelton Intermediate School
CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Bernadine Venditto
Term Start Mar 2008
Email bvenditto@jawct.org
Experience

Bernadine joined Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut in the fall of 2005 as a Program Manager and was promoted to President in July 2008. Under her leadership, the organization has achieved financial stability moving from operational deficits to consistent surpluses while, at the same time, each year increasing the number of students participating in JA programs by 10% and expanding program at the middle and high school levels. One of the new initiatives Bernadine has brought to the organization is the highly successful High School Business Challenge, a mission based fundraising event. Bernadine holds a B.A. in International Trade from Hofstra University.

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 1000
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 88%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted June 2015
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Senior Staff
Title Director of Program
Experience/Biography xx
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Collaborations
Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County operates through collaborations with over 1,000 educators in 100 schools, 1,000+ volunteers and corporate/ community partners.
Board Chair
Mr. Craig Winslow
Company Affiliation L. Catteron
Term July 2015 to June 2019
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Mr. Cosmo Alberico Odyssey Logistics & Technology
Mr. Daniel Bley Webster Bank
Ms. Terri-Ann Dautzenberg PricewaterhouseCoopers
Mr. Ugo DeBlasi
Mr. Adam Dworkin Griffin Hospital
Ms. Tina Foraker-Blackwell
Mr. George Herring Community Volunteer
Mr. H. Michael Keden J.P. Morgan
Ms. Barbara Keegan Wells Fargo
Mr. Arthur Mintzer
Mr. Robert Morris Pullman and Comley
Ms. Lynn Padell Better Packages
Mr. Robert Salaga Aon
Ms. Veerle Slenders Praxair
Mr. Michael Steinharter Earthport
Ms. Courtney Zeppetella KPMG LLP
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Co-Chair
Mr. Adam Dworkin
Company Affiliation Griffin Faculty Practice Plan
Term July 2015 to June 2018
Standing Committees
Audit
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Executive
Additional Boards: Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Cosmo Alberico Odyssey Logistics & Technology
Ms. Amalia Anderson-Diker Microsoft
Ms. Tara Barbieri CDW-G
Ms. Sandy Capellaro GE Capital
Ms. Danielle Casagrande GE Capital
Ms. Kimberly Chamberlain Wells Fargo
Mr. Eric Curry Webster Bank
Mr. Adam Dworkin Griffin Faculty Practice Plan, Inc
Mr. Ken Eng Cartus
Ms. Elizabeth Falk Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Mr. Peter Fazekas Aquarion Water Company
Mr. Seth Graff Bank of Montreal
Ms. Lucille Harriman Wells Fargo
Mr. Ted Lefebvre Esq. Pullman & Comley, LLC
Mr. Ronald Nolting People's Securities Inc.
Ms. Lynn Padell Better Packages
Mr. Philip Pires Cohen & Wolf Attornies
Mr. Farley Santos Savings Bank of Danbury
Ms. Indra Sethy-Coraci Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
Mr. Thomas Swanson Peoples Bank
Ms. Diana Teixeira Dworken, Hillman, LaMorte & Sterczala
Mr. Kevin Toohill UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Ms. Shelley Turian Union Savings Bank
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2018
Fiscal Year End June 30 2019
Projected Revenue $1,085,855.00
Projected Expenses $1,085,855.00
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Additional IRS info.2013View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$498,670$664,319$613,626
Current Assets$416,407$327,306$276,717
Long-Term Liabilities--$963$881
Current Liabilities$27,649$58,089$79,411
Total Net Assets$471,021$605,267$533,334
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountLavietes Foundation $40,000Lavietes Foundation $50,000Webster Bank $52,214
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGE Capital $37,000The Valley Community Foundation $34,000Raymond P. Lavietes Foundation $50,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountPitney Bowes $36,000Pitney Bowes $33,000Odyssey Logistics & Technology $31,140
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments
  • In a recent Junior Achievement USA benchmark study comparing JAWCT to other JA areas of similar market size, performance and program delivery, JAWCT was above the national average in efficiency and productivity per full time employee equivalent. Organizational growth would indicate a need to secure additional resources to continue at this performance level.

  • Each fiscal year we need to re-raise all the funds necessary to provide existing program, including strengthening, stewarding current donor relationships and developing new donor partnerships. With lean staff resources, meeting those needs while growing our funding base is among our greatest challenges. 

  • Although we have a strong corporate and foundation donor retention rate, relying on this model leaves us vulnerable to changes in the economy, institutional priorities and a challenging fundraising environment.

  • According to The Osborne Group, an independent nonprofit consulting firm, “It is recommend that JAWCT begin to integrate individual giving more fully into its fundraising and diversify its fundraising base.” 

  • To increase our individual giving by a significant amount will require cultural and practical changes in the board, including seeing their role as a personal obligation rather than a corporate obligation. It will also require the examination of staff roles and additional resources.

Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 835 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Primary Phone 203 382-0180 13
Contact Email ja@jawct.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Bernadine Venditto
Board Chair Mr. Craig Winslow
Board Chair Company Affiliation L. Catteron

 

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