To address improving graduation rates, research demonstrates that a key intervention time is during the transition from grade 8 - 9. JA Finance Park is a program focused on financial literacy and work readiness for students at these grade levels. The program reinforces the value of education and how it affects one's future. Students become empowered with the skills and inspiration needed to create a better tomorrow for themselves and our community.
In Bexar County public schools, over 64% of students are considered to be economically disadvantaged (source: Texas Education Agency). The four year graduation rate for eight of the public school systems in Bexar County is less than 78%, with the lowest at fewer than 62%. As the education system in Texas struggles with dramatic decreases in funding from the state legislature, the need to address the challenges facing San Antonio remain.
Junior Achievement equips students with skills that are critical to their successful participation in the workforce and postsecondary education. Specifically, students in JA improve their 21st-century skills, such as teamwork, decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking. They also improve skills that will make them more competitive in the workforce, including financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.
It's been proven that students who receive JA six times during their school career are 90% more likely to graduate from high school. The goal of our project will be for youth to develop attitudes aligned with high school graduation and 21st century skills that prepare them for success. In addition, JA programs improve student academic performance and achievement leading to increased graduation rates.