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What is JA Inspire?


A businessman talking to a student at JA Inspire

Inspiring today’s youth to be the workforce of tomorrow

To inspire career success, it pays to start early. That’s why JA of Oklahoma offers an array of programs designed to spark students’ interest in careers before they enter high school.

JA Inspire is the result of efforts to develop a program that goes beyond the classroom and into the community. More than a career fair, it’s designed to help launch students   into their futures: high school, college, and beyond.

What does that program include?

JA Inspire is a JA program designed for 8th grade students. It consists of three segments: in-class sessions prior to the event, the hands-on JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair, and an in-class debriefing.

During the in-class sessions, students research career industries and develop a career plan. They learn about the soft skills necessary for entering the workforce and review various educational opportunities. Then, students prepare for the day they head to the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair.

Opening student’s eyes to a future of possibilities

Junior Achievement of Oklahoma partners with over 70 Oklahoma organizations and companies in different industries for JA Inspire. During the Career Exploration Fair, students have the chance to meet with members of each organization and company, participate in a hands-on activity relevant to that career field, and learn what their careers could look like within an industry.  

After the Career Exploration Fair, students participate in an in-class debrief where they reflect on the event, review the industries or careers they are interested in, and organize their high school schedules to ensure they are preparing for their future dream career.

Image caption: JA Inspire Impact Results from 2022-2023

Why JA Inspire?

Research has shown that students with visions of what they want to do after high school are better primed for success. How do they develop those visions? From enriching in-classroom and extracurricular activities, designed to build self-awareness and expose them to the world of business.

Students with such experiences are much more likely to stay in school, take relevant courses, and graduate. Post-graduation, they are prepared and motivated to enter college, skilled trade, or national service – and to succeed, there and in life.

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