Junior Achievement Special Section | History & Board of Directors

Junior Achievement Turns 100

100 Years. 100% Ready.


unior Achievement was founded in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts. Together they discussed a problem facing all of their companies—they were constantly retraining employees on skills they felt they should already know. Moses was inspired by the 4H Club in his region—a hands-on experience for kids to learn about farm life straight from the farmers themselves. He wanted to start a similar program in which city kids would learn the essentials of business from those who worked in offices and factories throughout the city.

Moses started Junior Achievement as an after-school program where kids met at a local site and started a company from scratch (similar to the “Company Program” today). In 1975, the organization entered the classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades. Over the last thirty-nine years, Junior Achievement has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school and after-school students. Through the years Junior Achievement has made several changes and today is the largest economic education program in the United States. Junior Achievement programs reach students from kindergarten through twelfth grade during school hours. Volunteers from local communities serve as role models and visit a classroom up to eight times to present Junior Achievement programs. Junior Achievement provides training for all new volunteers and curriculum to teachers and schools at no cost to them.

Horace Moses, 1919

Junior Achievement

Locally, Junior Achievement of Alaska has been helping students better understand business and economics for forty-six years. Based in Anchorage with a staff of three, Junior Achievement of Alaska serves more than 14,500 students in fifty-five communities around the state. Many past Junior Achievement students have gone on to become successful professionals and continue to serve as classroom volunteers to help raise the next generation of business leaders.