Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement is a global nonprofit founded in 1919, dedicated to empowering young people with practical skills for success in the evolving global economy. Through partnerships with schools and businesses, JA delivers hands-on programs, connecting classroom learning to real-world applications. These programs cover financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, fostering a sense of economic understanding and responsibility. JA’s impact is evident in the millions of students worldwide who have gained confidence and essential life skills, becoming better prepared for success in their future endeavors.

In 2017, we partnered with Junior Achievement using the traditional model, focusing on grades K-5. Under this model, volunteers are assigned to classrooms to conduct five lessons lasting 30 to 45 minutes each. All necessary materials, training, and support are provided to ensure the volunteers can successfully deliver the content. To make Junior Achievement a reality in all K-5 classrooms this year, we need 93 dedicated volunteers.

Since 2017, we have expanded the Junior Achievement experience to touch all of our students from Kindergarten through ninth grade. Sixth grade is a capstone experience ending with the students spending one full day at JA BizTown in Des Moines. In seventh grade, students take part in It’s My Future which offers students practical information to help them prepare for the working world. Students develop personal branding and job-hunting skills to secure a job. Eighth-grade students participate in Finance Park which is an educator-led curriculum which ends in a culminating field trip to Junior Achievement in Des Moines. This program helps students make intelligent financial decisions. Ninth-grade students participate in a one-semester teacher-led course, JA Financial Literacy. foundational personal finance skills. 

Volunteers are the backbone of Junior Achievement. The table below overviews the different volunteer experiences at different grade levels. If you have questions about Junior Achievement or how to volunteer, please contact Curriculum and Professional Development Leader Jenny Allen or Jen O’Neal.

Grade Level

Volunteer Model

Contact Person


In-person, 5 visits to the same classroom, delivering provided curriculum

Jenny Allen


In-person, 1 day (9-1:30) in Des Moines, supporting students as they work through their “jobs”

Jenny Allen

7 & 9

Guest speaker, coaching, advising opportunities

Jen O’Neal


In-person, 1 day (9-1:30) in Des Moines, facilitating and supporting students through personal budgeting simulation

Jen O’Neal

Department Contacts

marhsalltown logo

Jennifer Allen


Jennifer O'neal

Jennifer O'neal


MCSD Junior Achievement Volunteer Form

4 Questions

Woodbury (Sept.-Oct.)
Anson (Nov.-Dec.-)
Franklin (Nov.-Dec.-)
Hoglan (Jan.-March)
Rogers (Jan.-March)
Fisher (March-May)
Lenihan 5th Grade (BizTown in Fall)
Miller 7th Grade (It's My Future in May)
Miller 8th Grade (Finance Park in Jan.-Feb.)