Unwrapping the Gift Of Possibility
The Impact of Giving Back
Author: Beth Beene
Published: Tuesday, 19 Dec 2023
Image caption: JA’s learning experiences are designed using JA’s Theory of change to develop self-efficacy and foster an “I can” attitude which is a critical element that contributes to a young person’s ability to succeed.
The holiday season is the best time of year to see and experience the impact of embracing the spirit of giving. At Junior Achievement we believe one of the most precious gifts we can offer is the gift of possibility. Imagine the possibilities that unfold when we extend a hand to those in need, not just in terms of material support, but in providing them with the encouragement and belief that they can achieve their dreams. The gift of possibility is intangible but carries immense weight. It's the unwavering belief in someone's potential, the encouragement to pursue their aspirations, and the removal of barriers that might hold them back.
Giving the gift of possibility has many layers, it not only touches the lives of young people as we equip them with skillsets and mindsets to succeed, but it also affects our community and you. Now, Let’s unpack the impact of giving back.
Impacting Individual Lives
Offering a financial investment or giving your time as a JA Volunteer has a direct impact on the lives of the young people who encounter JA’s Learning Experiences. In fact, JA’s learning experiences are designed using JA’s Theory of change to develop self-efficacy and foster an “I can” attitude which is a critical element that contributes to a young person’s ability to succeed. Check out the impact of JA according to our latest Alumni Survey Report.
- Widened Horizons: 89% of people who engaged in JA learning experiences say it motivated them to succeed in their professional lives, and 88% say JA widened their horizons.
- Strong Financial Footing: 82% of JA Alumni agree that they have a strong financial footing and 84% agree that their experience with Junior Achievement helped with their financial literacy.
- Confident with Money: Research from The Lending Club indicates that 64% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In our recent JA Alumni Survey, we found that that number is reduced to 46% for students who engaged with JA Learning Experiences.
- Pursue their Dreams: Research by MidAmerica Nazarene College shows that only 25% of Americans say they are in their “dream career.” In our recent JA Alumni Survey, 69% of students who engaged with JA Learning experiences reported that they currently work in their dream careers.
- Turn their Passion into Profit: When it comes to entrepreneurship, 51% of JA Alumni report that they have started or owned a business (or multiple businesses) at least once in their life. 27% say JA positively influenced their decision to start or run a business.
When you give the gift of possibility you are investing in the future workforce, community leaders, business owners, and change agents that will shape the future of our community. It creates opportunities for economic empowerment to help improve their quality of life, which will, in turn, help their families and the community. You are giving the gift of a bright future. Some additional benefits include:
- Social Cohesion: Community involvement fosters a sense of belonging and connection among residents. It helps build social networks and relationships, creating a stronger and more tightly-knit community.
- Increased Community Resilience: Volunteerism and charitable contributions can enhance a community's ability to withstand and recover from challenges, such as economic downturns, natural disasters, or other crises. The spirit of cooperation and support built through giving back can strengthen the community's resilience.
- Enhanced Education: JA’s Learning experiences and initiatives supported by community members can contribute to the overall educational attainment of the community. JA’s learning experiences equip young people with the skillset and mindset to succeed.
- Economic Benefits: Giving back can stimulate local economic development. As a community catalyst, Junior Achievement partners with local businesses to invest in our community. A long-term economic benefit of investing in young people is that they will become business owners and leaders who will create job opportunities in the future.
While it's well-known that the act of giving gifts brings us joy and fosters connections with others, giving the gift of possibility offers a plethora of additional benefits. By supporting Junior Achievement's mission, you not only contribute to empowering today’s youth but also unlock unique and personally enriching rewards.
- Making a Real Difference: Your money and time have the power to uplift the less fortunate and create a measurable impact. Your generosity enables Junior Achievement to fulfill its mission and bring about positive change in our community.
- Sense of Purpose: Beyond the act of giving, contributing to the community provides a profound sense of purpose. Knowing that your efforts contribute to the well-being of others adds a deeper meaning to your actions.
- Expanding Your Network: Volunteering connects you with diverse individuals and organizations, expanding your professional network. These connections can open doors to new opportunities and collaborations, both personally and professionally.
- Unlocking Potential Skills: Volunteering allows you to hone existing skills or develop new ones. It's an avenue to share your expertise and experiences, contributing to the growth of both yourself and others.
- Personal Growth: Volunteering is not without its challenges, but the rewards are immense. Embracing the difficulties and making sacrifices for a greater cause opens avenues for personal growth and development.
- Boosting Self-Esteem: Engaging in meaningful activities boosts self-esteem and confidence. By contributing to a cause larger than oneself, individuals develop a better sense of self and purpose.
- Gaining Perspective: The act of giving back provides a new perspective, highlighting the needs of those less fortunate. Volunteering with Junior Achievement gives volunteers insight into the challenges faced by the next generation.
As we wrap up the year, let us unwrap the gift of possibility and ensure that the season of giving extends beyond material presents, leaving a lasting impact on the hearts and lives of those in our community. Please consider partnering with Junior Achievement to make a difference by donating to a local JA Area office or signing up to become a JA Volunteer.