Jacksonville Teens Named North America's Top Bankers in Junior Achievement Virtual Competition | Business

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Jacksonville Teens Named North America's Top Bankers in Junior Achievement Virtual Competition
Jacksonville Teens Named North America's Top Bankers in Junior Achievement Virtual Competition

A student team from Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, Fla., took first place in the Junior Achievement (JA) Banks in Action 2011 North American Virtual Competition, an online “Battle of the Banks” that tests teens’ business and money-management skills. The exciting contest, which was funded by the Citi Foundation and organized with the leadership and volunteer participation of Citi employees, required participants from Canada, Guam and the United States to work their way through an economic recovery scenario to maximize profits and rise to the top of the banking industry.

“Florida Bank,” comprised of team members Alen Kaidic, Lexus Walton and Meri Logoreci from Junior Achievement of North Florida, emerged victorious, with “CHILL Bank,” representing JA of South Texas-San Antonio, coming in at a close second. Third place went to “Academy Bank,” also from San Antonio.

This annual competition culminates JA Banks in Action, one of a number of hands-on experiences that the organization offers to promote economic empowerment for young people. Geared to high school students, JA Banks in Action demystifies finance and the basic concepts, functions and history of banking, while exposing students to the many career paths in the financial services industry  The program also teaches young people how to become better citizens and smarter consumers. The annual competition begins with classroom activities and proceeds to the online rounds.

“The JA Banks in Action North American Virtual Competition is an exciting opportunity for students to experience the value of acquiring solid financial, teamwork and decision-making skills and strategies,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. “We’re grateful to Citi for joining Junior Achievement to inspire young people to meet the realities and opportunities of business in the 21st-century global economy.”

“Junior Achievement combines financial capability-building and life preparation in their programs for young people,” said Barbara Romani, Citi Community Development State Director for Florida and South Region Director.  “We are pleased to support and participate in JA’s programs year after year because they are so impactful.”

In 2007, JA Banks in Action expanded from its roots in Latin America to become a global program. Today, with Citi Foundation support, the program reaches over 70,000 students from 33 countries annually. In the United States, more than 5,000 students in 14 markets participated in the program during the 2009-2010 school year.

The Citi Foundation is one of largest contributors to Junior Achievement globally. Since 2004, the Foundation has invested more than $11.6 million in the growth and development of JA Banks in Action. Citi Foundation’s support for the program is part of Citi and Citi Foundation’s 10-year, $200 million commitment to financial capability, which began in 2004. Citi employees also invest in students’ futures by volunteering to teach financial education and responsible business skills to young people in the classroom.

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