Greensboro, NC -- Junior Achievement's national president and CEO Jack Kosakowski will visit the organization's Central North Carolina chapter for the first time Monday evening to visit with staff and students and to observe the building's $150,000 worth of renovations made in recent months.
Junior Achievement (JA), founded in 1919, provides first-hand business learning each year to more than four million students (grades K-12) nationwide - 11,000 of those in 350 Central North Carolina classrooms in Alamance, Guilford, Montgomery, Randolph and Rockingham counties.
Of Kosakowski's pending visit, President and CEO of the Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina Cindy Hayworth said, "It's really exciting. It's a two-fold event. One, we've just renovated this beautiful, 125-year-old home, and then to have the President of JA USA come here to visit with us is really exciting."
Both Hayworth and Junior Achievement of Central North Carolina programs manager Jacqueline McCracken affirmed Kosakowski's visit is representative of their chapter's success in recruiting more than 350 devoted volunteers and fulfilling the program's mission. McCracken acknowledged JA has helped, especially with its scholarship program, several of the 5,210 recent graduates of Guilford County Public High Schools gain the means for or motivation to pursue college and career endeavors.
McCracken said, "Undoubtedly, JA programs have been beneficial. What we've found is that students who participate in JA, compared to their peers who do not, display an enhanced level of problem solving and decision-making skills and are more likely to graduate high school...so undoubtedly, this benefits our local economy because we are creating the future work force."
Though JA courses - which typically run six to nine weeks - are taught in school classrooms, staff at the Central North Carolina chapter's headquarters on Northline Avenue in Greensboro said the historical building, itself, has become a community landmark and longstanding symbol of JA's goal of educational outreach. The hundred-year-old "JA House," as it is known in Greensboro, was gifted by the Benjamin family (deemed by the community as very philanthropic) and Starmount Company in 1998. In recent years, the home has needed repairs.
"When we received the house...it was in pretty good shape, but over the last 10 or 12 years, the weather has really taken its toll," Hayworth said. "So, the Board of Directors thankfully made a decision to renovate the house. We started last August [on] the exterior. [The entire] exterior-the porches-is completely maintenance free. It has a warranty of 40 years. Although we've never spent any program dollars to work on the exterior or interior of the house, we did do a capital campaign, and we're about two-thirds of the way through that capital campaign of about $150,000."
Individual students cannot sign up for JA classes. Instead, their teachers must submit, to their local JA chapter, a request to have a course taught in their classrooms. Hayworth said about 150 classes already have signed up for JA in this coming school year.
The banquet with Jack Kosakowski Monday night is not open to the public, but Kosakowski will sit down with WFMY News 2's Good Morning Show Tuesday, June 11.