Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City https://jagkc.org/ Inspire and prepare young people to succeed Tue, 19 Dec 2023 20:55:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.4.3 https://jagkc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/cropped-JA_Symbol_Full_Color-PNG-32x32.png Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City https://jagkc.org/ 32 32 Empowering Successful Futures at Faster Speeds https://jagkc.org/empowering-successful-futures-at-faster-speeds/ https://jagkc.org/empowering-successful-futures-at-faster-speeds/#respond Tue, 19 Dec 2023 20:50:35 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16911 Two years ago, Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City chose Google Fiber’s 2 Gig service and we’ve never looked back. In recognition of National Entrepreneurship Month, we’re highlighting how Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City uses reliable, high-speed internet to help achieve our goal of empowering the next generation of professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Our work at Junior Achievement is centered on three essential pillars: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. We offer a bridge between classrooms and the real world, preparing students for success in an evolving career landscape. Through programs catering to K-12 students, our adaptable curriculum provides valuable resources and lessons  that aren’t part of most schools’ required curriculum. 

Technology plays a huge role in our organization’s success. The decision to switch to Google Fiber‘s 2-Gig internet two years ago was partially driven by our desire to upgrade our internet, but more importantly, we wanted to elevate the experience of our students at the Youth Learning Lab, presented by the Mallouk Family Foundation.

One of the ways we’re elevating the experience is through our signature program: JA BizTown, presented by Community America Credit Union. This is an immersive experience where students step into the shoes of professionals. In the simulation, they learn how to run their own businesses, manage finances, and hone their ability to make decisions. JA BizTown challenges the next generation of employees to solve the nuanced, real-world issues that businesses face every day in a way that they connect with at their grade level. 

Our simulation relies on a cloud-based platform, and our GFiber’s 2-Gig service allows us to ensure the technology enabling JA BizTown runs smoothly, offering a disruption-free environment for our students. With up to 100 devices running simultaneously, reliability is key to the program’s success. 

Each year, Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City serves 20,000 students across the KC metro, nearly half of which experience capstone experiences onsite at the JA Youth Learning Lab. In addition, Junior Achievement welcomes 5,000 adult volunteers and community members onsite. We partner with more than 18 community organizations to execute our programs. In order to fulfill our mission and expand our impact, we need consistent, reliable connectivity so our programming and simulations don’t miss a beat. On a given day, we know that a dozen things could surprise us, but we have been able to count on the reliability of GFiber’s internet access.

Today, there’s so much pressure on young people to choose their career—and the options only continue to grow. Our programming, like JA BizTown or the 3DE model of education implemented at the high school level, opens their eyes to new opportunities they may not have previously considered. Our partnerships with Kansas City businesses inspire students by offering opportunities that align with their passions in unexpected ways. For instance, participants learn that they don’t have to be a center fielder to work for the Kansas City Royals. They can work in marketing, ticket sales, community outreach—the list goes on. Exposure to business mentors from the Kansas City business landscape further widens students’ perspectives, opening a world of possibilities for their choice-filled futures.

As we navigate the future of education, especially considering the challenges posed by the pandemic, community support is essential. Working with GFiber as a small business exemplifies the exact kind of collaboration needed to uplift our youth during a pivotal time in their lives. It takes all of us to collectively empower our future leaders and prepare them for success, and we’re so grateful for our supportive community.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City, there are many ways to support. Volunteer your time, share your expertise, and become a mentor to a future leader. Our range of volunteer opportunities give everyone a chance to impact the lives of these students. Together, we are shaping futures, one student at a time.

This post was originally written for and posted to GFiber’s blog “Connect.”

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Kansas City Partnerships: How Junior Achievement Works with Schools and Local Businesses to Change Students’ Lives https://jagkc.org/kansas-city-partnerships-how-junior-achievement-works-with-schools-and-local-businesses-to-change-students-lives/ https://jagkc.org/kansas-city-partnerships-how-junior-achievement-works-with-schools-and-local-businesses-to-change-students-lives/#respond Tue, 28 Nov 2023 22:48:01 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16721 The fifth-grade teaching team of Kristina Sink and Michelle Michalski is intimately familiar with the mission of Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City. After all, their relationship with JAGKC dates back to 2018.

“Megan Sturges Stanfield used to come into our classroom and teach JA classes with our kids, so it all started with her. We actually got to visit JA BizTown (presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union) while it was being constructed,” Kristina said. “Megan kept coming back, kept volunteering in our class and building relationships with our district, even after she became the President and CEO of JAGKC.”

As teachers at T.A. Edison Elementary School who have worked together for fourteen years, Kristina and Michelle have the JA BizTown preparation process down to an art form: Start daily lessons a month ahead of time, use the JA BizTown workbooks to teach their students about bank accounts, deposits, and other economics basics, and wrap up with the filling out of job applications ahead of their big day.

“It’s really fun to watch the kids who normally don’t step up really embrace their jobs as leaders and role models,” Michelle said. “At JA BizTown, we saw students finish their breaks early because they were CEOs and wanted to make sure their companies were running correctly. It helps us see a different side of them, more like mini adults than the 10 and 11 year-olds we see in class.”

This experience proves especially impactful when you take into consideration the background of many T.A. Edison students.

“With our populations and the socioeconomic circumstances in our area, most of our kids don’t know this kind of information,” Michelle said. “Many of their parents work in the hospitality sector, and some don’t even have bank accounts because of limited accessibility, so being able to explore this type of work and tap into this knowledge base is a big eye opener for them.”

Earlier this fall, Keyson was one T.A. Edison fifth grader who fully embraced every aspect of JA BizTown. So when it came time for Kristina and Michelle to choose which of their students would be invited to speak at the JA Business Hall of Fame luncheon a few short weeks later, he was top of mind.

“People flock to Keyson for his personality and his outgoing attitude. But to be honest, we were hesitant to ask him to speak because, while he has so much heart and potential, he also has a need to be the top dog which can get in the way of his efforts to be a role model,” Kristina said. “So to see him up on stage, as nervous as he was, and to see him do such an amazing job with his speaking – I hope that this sticks with him for a very long time.”

One of the most memorable moments of the 2023 Hall of Fame celebration was entirely unscripted. During his acceptance speech, Chase McAnulty, Owner and CEO of Charlie Hustle, brought Keyson back on stage in order to share the limelight and pass along some hard-earned wisdom.

“This is our third time bringing students to the luncheon, but this was the most impactful and intimate luncheon out of them all,” Kristina said. “I especially think the these specific laureates were impactful for our kiddos because they saw them as people that they can relate to. We have a lot of Hispanic students, we have a lot of soccer lovers, we have a lot of fashion and clothing fans, so all of that combined to show our students that they can really pursue whatever they want to.”

The feeling was certainly shared by Keyson, who teared up as he recounted this unscripted moment.

“I felt loved and honored to be on stage with Chase because he’s such a caring person,” Keyson said. “When I grow up, I want to be just like Chase.”

Now, this exchange – Chase’s recognition of Keyson’s potential, and the earnest young man’s visible enthusiasm – has continued to have ripple effects in the Charlie Hustle and T.A. Edison communities. Thanks to some behind-the-scenes planning from the Charlie Hustle and JAGKC teams, Kristina and Michelle’s students will be visiting the Charlie Hustle offices in December.

“The students were so excited and shocked when we told them that we’d been invited to Charlie Hustle. Their eyes lit up and they’re all just so excited to go,” Michelle said. “And the first words out of Keyson’s mouth were, ‘Will I get to see Chase again?’”

These transformational moments wouldn’t be possible without the support and generosity of those that give to Junior Achievement throughout the year. Because of our supporters, students feel more empowered to create their limitless futures, inspired to explore their entrepreneurial spirits, and informed to make sound financial decisions.

Will you join us in this season of giving to ensure more students, like Keyson, have access to opportunities? Give today.

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Sporting KC partners with 3DE by Junior Achievement to offer educational experiences for local high schools https://jagkc.org/sporting-kc-partners-with-3de-by-junior-achievement-to-offer-educational-experiences-for-local-high-schools/ https://jagkc.org/sporting-kc-partners-with-3de-by-junior-achievement-to-offer-educational-experiences-for-local-high-schools/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2023 20:52:00 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16914 Sporting Kansas City featured Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City in an article highlighting their investment and partnership in 3DE by Junior Achievement. You can read their post HERE.

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Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City Honors Local Entrepreneurs at Business Hall of Fame https://jagkc.org/ja_halloffame_2023/ https://jagkc.org/ja_halloffame_2023/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2023 01:05:20 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16702 The 23rd annual Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Event was held on November 9, 2023 at the JA Youth Learning Lab, presented by the Mallouk Family Foundation. This signature event recognizes the dedication and achievements of changemakers that play vital roles in Kansas City’s continuing growth as a hub for entrepreneurship. 

Honored at the event were newly inducted Hall of Fame Laureates Chris and Angie Long of Palmer Square Capital Management and Kansas City Current; Chase McAnulty of Charlie Hustle; and Oscar Monterroso and CiCi Rojas of Tico Productions and Tico Sports, LLC. 

The event welcomed over 150 supporters from around Kansas City, including fifth grade student hosts from T.A. Edison Elementary School from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. These student hosts helped to welcome attendees, shared lunch with all of the guests, and some even gave speeches as a part of the event’s program. 

One student, Gracie, used her time on stage to summarize her experiences with JA BizTown, presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union. 

“Younger students are introduced to Junior Achievement in the classroom, then in 5th grade, we get to come to JA BizTown for a field trip!” she said. “Because of Junior Achievement, I know better how I can create my own future and be a game changer too.” 

Rae Daniel, KSHB 41 Action News Morning Anchor and Reporter, served as emcee for the event, helping to celebrate the laureates’ unwavering commitment to Kansas City. 

“Their outstanding achievements serve as a testament to the enduring importance of instilling personal finance skills, preparing for the workforce in a global economy, and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit,” Daniel said. “Each of our laureates have left an indelible mark on our community, embodying the principles at the heart of Kansas City – and the heart of Junior Achievement.” 

One overarching theme of the laureates’ speeches was teamwork. The Longs dedicated their speech to the teams behind both Palmer Square Capital Management and Kansas City Current, while Monterroso and Rojas brought their full Tico Productions team to the event. 

After thanking his own team, McAnulty shared the story of his first introduction to JA BizTown, and the sentiments that inspired him to have a Charlie Hustle storefront in the simulated Kansas City learning environment. 

“From the moment I walked in, I knew that this is a happy place,” McAnulty said. “It takes you back to elementary school and the joy of being a child and learning and growing. So, right away, I said, ‘Yeah, we’re in.’” 

It was a day to remember, as five individuals were honored for exemplifying the guiding principles of Junior Achievement day in and day out. 

To view pictures from this celebratory event, you can visit our photo album

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How JA of Greater Kansas City Improves Professional Outcomes for Youth https://jagkc.org/professionaloutcomes/ https://jagkc.org/professionaloutcomes/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2023 20:47:15 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16604 Four times each year, the team at Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City is able to zoom out and reflect on the impacts of our daily efforts through our Quarterly Impact Reports. This process gives us the opportunity to 1. Examine the impacts we’re having through our curriculum, both in local schools and in the JAGKC workspaces, and 2. Explore how our work is influencing external conversations about economic mobility and career readiness. 

We are an organization focused on inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, which means that we are especially interested in what financial literacy and personal finance data looks like both inside and outside of Kansas City: 

  • In 2019, 53% of college students in the United States reported that they are least prepared to manage money, compared to any other challenge they may face in undergraduate education. 
  • Across the U.S. today, 78% of adults live paycheck to paycheck, and only 33% of families have any emergency savings set aside. 
  • A 2018 study of financial outcomes for young adults ages 18 to 22 found that students who completed financial literacy programming in high school had better credit scores

While there are many nuanced conclusions that can be pulled from this research, one thing is very clear: Financial literacy has a positive impact on future financial decisions and financial confidence. 

Here at JA of Greater Kansas City, we’re proud of how our financial literacy curriculum and related programming are helping Kansas City youth create their own choice-filled futures by…  

  • Igniting passion within youth and cultivating entrepreneurial mindsets in order to spark their economic development and eventual economic mobility. Learn more about JA BizTown, presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union, an opportunity for students to learn and grow in a simulated Kansas City. 
  • Increasing access and opportunity through enhanced classroom experiences with 3DE by Junior Achievement. We’re re-engineering high school education to be more relevant, experiential, and authentically connected to the complexities of the real world. 
  • Bringing JA to your classrooms in order to support academic communities that wouldn’t otherwise be able to access this level of financial education or community mentorship. 
  • Creating at-home tools that supplement other JA programming by reinforcing student confidence, public speaking skills, and the ability to take initiative. 

This quarter alone, we had 92.5% of teachers observe their students demonstrating and applying real world knowledge – and experiences – as a result of their JA lessons. We also saw the percentage of students who think it’s important to use a personal budget grow from only 49.5% to more than 82%! 

These are the exact types of targeted interventions that help young people disrupt intergenerational poverty by increasing their economical know-how, developing their understanding of financial behaviors, and expanding their workplace skill sets. 

As our students progress through their education, we are confident that we are helping build a future where the talent pipeline is filled with adults who are confident in their ability to make healthy financial decisions.

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Local Mayor Provides Real-World Example for JA BizTown Students https://jagkc.org/local-mayor-provides-real-world-example-for-ja-biztown-students/ https://jagkc.org/local-mayor-provides-real-world-example-for-ja-biztown-students/#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:28:20 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16544 Joe Berkey wears many hats: he’s a small business owner, father of two Spring Hill Elementary School students, the mayor of Spring Hill, Kansas, and, on this otherwise normal weekday in spring 2023, he’s a volunteer at JA BizTown, presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union! 

At school, Joe’s fourth grade son had been learning about JA BizTown for weeks. 

“They’ve been preparing for JA BizTown for about a month and a half, so he’s talked quite a bit about it at home,” Joe said. “He told me that every student would have a specific job in the town, and since I’m actually the Mayor of Spring Hill, he was really hoping to be the Mayor of JA BizTown.” 

While Joe’s son didn’t end up being appointed as mayor, he was chosen to be the Election Commissioner, another position in JA BizTown’s City Hall. 

“Since he’s seen me run for election, it gave me the opportunity to explain to him what an Election Commissioner does in the real world,” Joe said. “I got to tell him how they’re responsible for making sure that elections are safe and secure, and how they encourage all members of the community to vote.” 

As the day went on, their shared passion for civic duty became increasingly evident. 

“Before he actually got to JA BizTown, I think he knew it would be fun, but he didn’t fully understand what his job would look like. Now, he’s really gotten into it, and he’s already come over to me at least three times to say, ‘I love my job! This is awesome!’” Joe shared. 

As an active entrepreneur in his own community, Joe’s especially excited about the entrepreneurial and independence aspects of JA BizTown. 

“I own a small business – construction companies, actually – which is my main job besides being Mayor of Spring Hill,” he said. “That makes it extra interesting to see the kids going into these businesses, receiving services, paying their bills, checking on taxes – and I’ve seen so many smiles on these kids’ faces while they’re doing all of it.” 

While volunteering in JA BizTown, Joe made a point to provide mentorship and support to the fourth grade girl that was appointed to be mayor for the day. 

“As she’s running around, doing all of her responsibilities as Mayor, she said to me, ‘This is a lot of pressure,’” Joe said. “And I was able to affirm that, yes, it’s a lot of pressure – but there’s so much reward in it, too.” 

All in all, Joe is thankful for the opportunity to share his wisdom as a father, an entrepreneur, and an elected leader during his JA BizTown volunteering experience. 

“I’m posted in City Hall today, so I got to be a part of the students’ decision making for the pricing of dog and cat adoption fees,” he said. “I enjoyed being able to support their ideas, while also reminding them of the business loan they want to pay off, and the profit they want to make.” 

He’s also grateful that elementary school students are being exposed to these concepts in such an engaging environment. 

“At this young age, I think it’s awesome for them to get these experiences with jobs, responsibilities, and rewards,” he said. “I think there’s a sense of financial security and confidence that students are getting out of this experience because they’re learning how to provide for themselves, while also getting to take advantage of rewards when they have the money to do so. They’re getting so excited about working hard, too, which I think is really cool to witness.”

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Partnership Spotlight – Front Porch Alliance https://jagkc.org/partnership-spotlight-front-porch-alliance/ https://jagkc.org/partnership-spotlight-front-porch-alliance/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2023 21:17:25 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=16498 On August 11th, the Equal Minded Cafe was packed with high school students and their supportive communities. It was the Third Annual Youth Summer Showcase from the Front Porch Alliance, an event that wrapped up the summer’s creative efforts by showcasing film projects from the Reel Collectors, Art Pieces from PORCH Storytellers, and the launch of a brand new, student-run videography and photography business. 

According to Hanna Hochstetler, Youth Programs Coordinator at the Front Porch Alliance, the nonprofit organization is located on the east side of Kansas City and has been working closely with nearby communities since the 1990s. Today, the Reel Collectors is a program that annually brings together students from area high schools to learn about professional level filmmaking from start to finish. This includes every step in the process, from ideation to creation to production, and every other task in between. But how do students learn to leverage these skills? 

“Starting that first summer, we brought in Junior Achievement’s entrepreneurship curriculum because we want to help students take the skills they’re already learning and be able to make them into a real business,” Hanna said. 

A key part of the Front Porch Alliance team since 2021, Hanna’s helped lead the partnership between FPA and JA since that same year. Rather than run the programming entirely on our own, JA provides supplemental programming and curriculum to FPA to help further their goals. Since day one, Hanna has worked closely with JA to grow this partnership’s reach from five students studying personal finance curriculum to more than 140 students in the 2022-2023 academic year. 

This growth has been made possible by FPA’s decision to integrate numerous JA programs, including personal finance curriculum and interactive programming like pitch competitions and JA Company Pop-Up. 

“There’s an entrepreneurship mindset that students have these days, and it’s something I wish I’d had when I was younger,” she said. “Our hope is that students can take these hard, creative skills in film and entrepreneurship in order to start businesses in marketing, filmmaking, and anything else at that intersection of art and technology.” 

One unique aspect of this particular partnership is the fact that students involved in certain Front Porch Alliance programming actually earn a cash stipend for their dedication and hard work. This means that, in real time, students are learning to earn, save, invest, and spend real money that they’ve earned through creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. 

“I get to see students turn their passions into paychecks and learn how to budget wisely, which I hope they’ll continue to do in their future careers,” Hanna said. 

Ultimately, as far as Hanna’s concerned, the JA and FPA partnership continues to bring value to multiple facets of her work. She sees the ways that students are building social networks, asking candid questions of local professionals who are pursuing career paths that students are interested in, and seeking out answers to the tough financial questions they don’t feel they can ask anywhere else. 

“I love working with JA. Every time we meet, we’re figuring out how we can help each other, and we’re also brainstorming together to make the best programming possible for the students that we’re working with,” she said. “It’s exciting – and it makes my job a lot easier – to be in a creative space where we’re both going after the same goals.” 

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Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City Announces 2023 Inductees to Business Hall of Fame https://jagkc.org/junior-achievement-of-greater-kansas-city-announces-2023-inductees-to-business-hall-of-fame/ https://jagkc.org/junior-achievement-of-greater-kansas-city-announces-2023-inductees-to-business-hall-of-fame/#respond Tue, 09 May 2023 16:53:09 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=14965 Kansas City, KS – Junior Achievement (JA) of Greater Kansas City is honored to announce the 2023 Junior Achievement Business of Hall of Fame inductees:  

Chris and Angie Long, Palmer Square Capital Management and Kansas City Current 

Chase McAnulty, Charlie Hustle 

Oscar Monterroso and CiCi Rojas, Tico Productions and Tico Sports, LLC

The laureates will be recognized at the annual Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame event on Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, at the JA Youth Learning Lab, presented by the Mallouk Family Foundation (2842 W 47th Ave; Kansas City, KS 66103).  

Kansas City has been recognized by the nation and the world as a place synonymous with sports and athletic greatness, with events like the 2023 NFL Draft and the 2026 World Cup selecting Kansas City as host cities as well as two Super Bowl wins in three years. These laureates represent how a passion for sports and our hometown can translate into business and entrepreneurial success. 

“Youth served by Junior Achievement often have aspirations of playing professional sports, but we know the percentage who turn that dream into reality, on the field, is limited,” states Megan Sturges Stanfield, President and CEO of JA of Greater Kansas City. “These laureates illustrate how many opportunities exist for youth to achieve beyond the field while fulfilling their passion, and how key leadership skills like perseverance, dedication and innovation are vital for career and entrepreneurial success.” 

2023 marks the 23rd year of the JA Business Hall of Fame, a signature event in recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of those leaders and changemakers that are vital in building the past, present and future of the Kansas City economic and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The 2023 inductees join familiar names of the Kansas City business landscape, including Peter Mallouk, Fred Pryor, Jeanette Prenger, Joyce Hall, and more.  

“When youth see the additions of Chris, Angie, Chase, CiCi and Oscar on the Hall of Fame wall in the JA Youth Learning Lab, they realize that they, too, possess the capability to harness their entrepreneurial spirit and turn their dreams into reality,” notes Sturges Stanfield.  

To celebrate these storied careers at the Hall of Fame event, you can contact Allison Chael (achael@jagkc.org) to sponsor or purchase tickets.  

About the 2023 Laureates  

(For full laureates bios and headshots, contact JA of Greater Kansas City) 

Chris and Angie Long 

Chris Long founded Palmer Square Capital Management, an approximately $26 billion AUM asset manager focused on corporate and structured credit with offices in Kansas City and London, England, in June 2009. Currently, he serves as Chairman, CEO and Portfolio Manager, and been successful in building one of the premier credit investment firms in the world.  

Angie Long serves as the Chief Investment Officer and one of two Principal Owners at Palmer Square Capital Management, where she has key responsibilities for all investment-related activities. She is widely regarded as a pioneer in credit and fixed income, with a history of innovation including pioneering aspects of the credit derivatives industry and creating the HYDI, the first liquid trading index and predecessor to all of today’s indices. 

The Longs are also Co-Owners of the Kansas City Current, the city’s National Women’s Soccer league franchise. With co-owners Brittany Mahomes and Patrick Mahomes, they have had a clear vision of establishing the best women’s soccer club in the world, but also having the Kansas City Current serve as a model for all of women’s sports. The team will soon complete a $120mm privately-financed stadium on the Riverfront, the first in the world to be built for a women’s professional sports team.  

Chase McAnulty 

Chase McAnulty believes that every shirt has a story; this belief was the driving motivator in creating Charlie Hustle Clothing Company. While at the Kansas City Art Institute, studying graphic design, Chase became enamored with the underground culture of those who value vintage t-shirts. These two passions soon joined to create Charlie Hustle.  

Starting with only 16 shirt designs in 2012, McAnulty has led the company to have more than 200 licenses, over 1,000 SKUs in inventory. The iconic ‘KC Heart’ design has become a beloved icon portraying Kansas City pride.  

McAnulty also created the Heart of KC Foundation, Charlie Hustle’s 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, of which has spearheaded the Parade of Hearts project in Kansas City.  

Oscar Monterroso and CiCi Rojas, Tico Productions and Tico Sports  

Oscar “El Tico” Monterroso is the Co-Owner and Founder of Tico Productions, LLC, a full-service, multi-cultural, multi-media production company located in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Tico Productions, LLC, has produced a wide array of external messaging marketing videos, radio broadcasts, short films, graphic design, logo animation and photography for a diversity of clients locally, nationally and internationally.

CiCi Rojas is an accomplished C-suite executive turned entrepreneur, having built enterprises both in for-profit environments, and for economic, political and social change. She joined Tico Productions and Tico Sports, LLC, to co-lead the company that she co-founded with her husband three years prior.

Under Monterroso and Rojas’ leadership, Tico Sports developed a Spanish-language broadcast and community engagement platform for sports teams, establishing a third-party solution for sports teams seeking to build their Latino audiences. Tico has served as the official Spanish broadcaster for professional teams Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Jose Sharks, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, and at the collegiate level, for the University of Kansas basketball and football, the University of Nebraska, and Kansas State University.

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Accenture Partners with Junior Achievement, Launches New Website https://jagkc.org/accenture-partners-with-junior-achievement-launches-new-website/ https://jagkc.org/accenture-partners-with-junior-achievement-launches-new-website/#respond Fri, 03 Feb 2023 17:28:12 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=14675 The importance of online learning and opportunities to expand education beyond the four walls of a school have always been a priority for Junior Achievement (JA) of Greater Kansas City. In the months and now years following the global events of 2020, this need has only been made greater.  

Our onsite options, like JA BizTown®, presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union, are an example of expanding education, but they’re not the only innovative way that JA is bridging education and real world for students outside the classroom. Enter JA Connect™ 

JA Connect™ is Junior Achievement’s first self-guided student experience, featuring a flexible, modular repository of activities related to work and career readiness. The online activities give students an opportunity to acquire knowledge and to apply and practice new skills and behaviors inside or outside the classroom.1 

JA Connect™ was developed in conjunction with Accenture, a leading global company dedicated to delivering on the promise of technology and human ingenuity.2 After seeing the success of JA Connect™ and the natural partnership between Accenture and JA, we knew they were the right partner  to curate a new, inviting and interactive website – the “digital front door” to JA of Greater Kansas City. 

“Accenture understands innovation and forging a path, and that’s what we’re doing at JA of Greater Kansas City,” notes Megan Sturges Stanfield, President and CEO. “With our new facility and learning experiences paving a new way for education in KC, it was an easy decision to work with Accenture to develop the new website.” 

Accenture’s generous in-kind support for the setup and backend development of the new and improved jagkc.org, is allowing Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City to expand our reach beyond the four walls of our building in addition to the four walls of the schools we partner with.  

The need for a localized, customized, and engaging website was at the top of JA’s wish list. The team at Accenture provided best practices, backend and technical setup and assisted with the launch process. Check-ins and guidance were provided along the way to the in-house Junior Achievement staff that built and designed the content of the site. 

“Being able to have a sounding board when we hit a snag was vital to our success,” notes JA Director of Marketing and Communications, Torey Berndt. ”Knowing Accenture was just an email away really helped us to dream big and make our website shine the way we wanted it to.” 

Accenture committed a variety of resources and personnel to the project, expanding past traditional roles to develop the next generation of talent. On top of consulting resources and guidance, Accenture also utilized apprentices and interns, allowing them to gain experience and take ownership of the project. 

Team members who worked on the site included Tina Kucherovsky, John Qosimi, JR Cadwallader, Joe Muelleman, Howard Tempero, Tiauna Fanning and apprentice Andrew Dowd.

The results were exactly what Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City was hoping for. A fun and inviting website that’s easy to navigate with an updated look is now the entry point for educators, volunteers, supporters and more to participate in all that Junior Achievement has to offer. 

The website provides resources that invite visitors to learn about Junior Achievement’s mission and the various opportunities for educators, across the K-12 continuum, to engage JA in their lessons to, highlighting our community partners, those at-home tools (like JA Connect™) and much more. To volunteer with Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City, visit our volunteer page. If you would like to contribute financial or in-kind support, learn about our investment opportunities. 

1 – From JA Connect™ program brief, 2020 

2 – Accenture, LLP, “About” webpage 

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Daniel https://jagkc.org/daniel/ https://jagkc.org/daniel/#respond Fri, 16 Dec 2022 16:34:43 +0000 https://jagkc.org/?p=14639 “I’m convinced that what Junior Achievement is doing is going to change the world.” Daniel Smith, a Kansas City media creator, shared following his first visit to the JA Youth Learning Lab, presented by the Mallouk Family Foundation. “I’m not much of a crier, but I’ll admit I cried when I saw the space for the first time.” 

Daniel’s desire to get involved with JA led him to volunteer in a deeply personal and impactful way – serving as a Career Speaker at the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC). Daniel shared his personal experience of being at JDC when he was younger, and how for nearly a decade, he’s been looking for a way to go back to share lessons learned and “pay it forward.” JA created an opportunity for Daniel to serve as a mentor sharing a connection with the youth through a lived experience.  As a teenager, Daniel was seeking guidance to find a path forward, but the system didn’t offer that as part of the rehabilitation process. “When I was there, there wasn’t a sense of redemption. There wasn’t a sense of bettering yourself. But for these kids, it’s different. JA’s giving them an opportunity.”  

Regardless of their differences, Daniel knows that a sense of belonging is what young people are seeking. By sharing his personal story, he saw that sense of belonging click, that maybe there was a future for these young people they didn’t see before. “When youth get a chance to realize there’s something different to do, and someone different you can be, regardless of decisions you’ve made in the past, we’ll have a better society as a whole.”  

Daniel reflects on his gratitude for the impacts Junior Achievement has on young people, sharing that he feels that Junior Achievement provides a head start for them. “Within a couple of years, students who participate in Junior Achievement will be on a completely different playing field than their peers.” He continues, reflecting on how middle school Daniel would have been had he had JA: “Had JA been a thing when I was young, I would have known that what I’m interested in could be a career path, and been confident in making that happen sooner.”  

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