This exciting partnership has been developed specifically for high school Class of 2020 students who had difficulty accessing help from school counselors and mentors in making important college and career decisions when schools were closed in March due to COVID-19. Many diplomas were handed out without a clear plan of what comes next.
ReadyCT’s response is Student 5.0, an entirely virtual 5-week program featuring a peer-to-peer model where college age mentors assist with postsecondary transition planning. Three major components of the program include: technical assistance with the college application / enrollment process, inclusive of FAFSA, dedicated peer mentorship with a focus on setting and achieving short term college and career goals and online coursework with a focus on career readiness skills.
The program is funded by 4-CT (a Connecticut nonprofit formed to address problems created by COVID-19) and has capacity to serve hundreds of students. The first cohort, which began in late July and enrolled over 150 students, is winding down; looking ahead, a second cohort is currently enrolling and will start program delivery in September.
Junior Achievement, who has recently launched an array of virtual programming to meet the demands of local school districts, is helping by conducting engaging live webinars designed to reach the registered students of Student 5.0. Such topics being covered include: soft skills and interviewing, communication and conflict in the workplace, team building and leadership, personal finance and building your brand. JA has engaged a diverse group of volunteers who will guide these students based on personal and professional experiences.
“It’s exciting to see two organizations, JA and ReadyCT, come together for a school-ready/work-ready partnership that will provide resources and volunteer mentors these recent high school graduates so desperately need,” says Jeremy Race, Junior Achievement President & CEO. “At JA, we’ve always prided ourselves on providing young people with inspirational experiences that can help propel their future success. This partnership is yet another example of how the community can truly work together and we are proud to align with ReadyCT on this initiative.”
"The Student 5.0 program is in full swing, and its impact on students is significantly increased through collaboration with organizations like Junior Achievement of Southwest New England," said Shannon Marimón, executive director at ReadyCT. "It's a real boon to be able to complement our peer-to-peer model with subject matter expertise, like the kind provided by JA, in ways that can help participants better connect to career and college options. Based on the strong registration numbers for the first JA workshop last week, the participants clearly agree. We hope to build on this partnership to support not just the Class of '20 but also the Class of '21, whose post-grad planning will likely also be interrupted by the challenges of a COVID-19 climate."
About Junior Achievement: Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in over 100 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide.
Last year in Connecticut, with the help of over 3,000 volunteers, JA of Southwest New England taught more than 47,000 local students in kindergarten through high school about business, jobs, and the importance of education for success.
If you would like to find out more information about joining Junior Achievement of Southwest New England and how you can make a difference in a young person’s life by volunteering, please contact President & CEO, Jeremy Race at email@example.com. Any support you provide to Junior Achievement will help us change the lives of students in Connecticut, inspiring and empowering them for future success.
About ReadyCT: ReadyCT is a statewide nonprofit organization advancing public education in the state of Connecticut through programming and policy advocacy. Originally founded to close the state’s persistent achievement gaps—the difference in academic performance between low-income students and their non-low-income peers—today ReadyCT continues that work while also striving to reshape the definition of success for all students in ways that keep pace with our modern world. For more information, visit readyCT.org.