Junior Achievement Special Section
What JA Does for Me
By Ezra Van Deursen

am in seventh grade at Wendler Middle School. My family moved to Alaska about three years ago, and my mom works for GCI. My mom is always telling me how important it is to work hard in school so that, one day, I can be successful and earn my own money.

In the Lower 48 I remember having JA come to my school, and I was excited to have JA in Alaska. When JA comes to my school, I feel excited because I know I will get to have a new teacher in my class, someone who can tell us how we can earn and save money… maybe even how to get a job. When schools closed, my school had to cancel our JA in a Day event, but my teacher showed the virtual videos in class. I had a virtual presentation from a JA volunteer over Zoom. We talked about his job at New York Life, and he showed us his office. It was nice to have something different to talk about besides homework, turning on our camera, and math.

After the presentation, I completed an assignment online where I had to turn in an idea I had for a business. I came up with the idea of starting a babysitting business in my neighborhood. My mom helped me come up with my hourly rate, and on the first day we had five customers! I was able to make enough money babysitting to pay for a new bike for myself this summer, so I could give my little sister my old bike.

I am happy I get to participate in JA because, if I didn’t, I might never have come up with my business this summer.