When it comes to corporate social responsibility, EGN Singapore is ready to play its part. We are delighted to announce that we are now partnering Junior Achievement (JA) Singapore, a global non-profit organization that is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy.
Founded in 1919, JA has contributed to the business and economic education of over 100 million young people around the world. The local chapter, JA Singapore, was founded in January 2008, and has since educated over 175,000 students ranging from Kindergarten to Junior College or Polytechnic about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
The programs JA Singapore runs are taught by volunteers who use hands-on activities to help young people understand the economics of life. The courses bring the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential. With a mission to inspire, prepare and empower the youths for their future, all of JA’s courses and programs are offered free-of-charge.
We welcome all our EGN Members to become volunteers with JA. Essentially, volunteers facilitate discussions and activities, add in personal and work experiences, and encourage teamwork and leadership skills in the class.
About the programs
The Entrepreneurship program will encourage young people to become interested in entrepreneurship. The program demonstrates that entrepreneurship is as much of a mindset as it is a skill-set, and thus students will be encouraged to learn the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, and to witness how being an informed entrepreneur has multiple facets. These are important things for youths to know. Volunteers help instil in students an attitude of creativity, innovation, and thinking out of the box. The course aims to show how entrepreneurship fulfils a need, and to showcase the importance of knowing who your customer is, or what your competitive advantage is. Volunteers also teach responsibilities such as ethics, and social responsibilities.
Often not taught at home, the program helps students learn concepts such as money and risk management; higher-order thinking; adaptability; negotiation skills; resilience; intuitive decision-making; and self-efficacy. They are also instructed as to how to manage spending, earnings, and savings. Importantly, students need to identify what their needs are versus wants. They are taught how to manage and balance monthly income – such as budgeting by categories. The course also teaches financial planning, goal setting, and thoughtful decision-making in the context of personal financial decisions. Essentially, students are shown how to make wise financial decisions.
Work – Readiness
Generally speaking, students are not ready to hit the workforce, so this course helps them comprend and learn skills to ready them for work life, such as how to manage money and risk management. Concepts such as higher-order thinking skills, adaptability, problem-solving and learnability; communication, interpersonal and social skills are also taught. Students learn that applying themselves to work hard, be dependable, and participate in teamwork is important, as much so as is integrity or ethics. They are shown how self-motivation and self-control, a positive attitude, and a positive self-concept as well as self-efficacy are important.
In running the courses, volunteers encourage students to pursue a career based on their skills, interests, values and work priorities. When people are happy and enjoy their job and what they are doing, productivity and creativity are generally at their peak.
Other life skills that are taught skills include the 4C’s – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity. And students are shown how personal branding can help fine tune their job hunt with tools such as resumes, or how to manage interviews. This way they can connect what they learn in school to work life.
Are you ready to be a volunteer?
If so, JA would like to thank you for making a difference. Volunteers are remembered for the care, preparation and sharing with students, which the students respect. Through EGN, you can become a JA volunteer. Here is how you can participate:
- Teaching 4-6 hour long courses. Visit https://www.ja.org.sg/programs.html
- Become a mentor for the JA Company Program. The program takes students on a 4-6 months journey of starting a company, learning the different functions of the company, selling shares, deciding what product/service to sell and then selling it. At the end of the program, they write an annual report and participate in the Singapore Company of the Year Competition where there are 5 parts to the competition – 4 min presentation, commercial video, trade booth, judges interview and the annual report. The winner will then represent Singapore in the Asia Pacific competition.
- Volunteer for JA Career Sharing – talk about your career during a panel discussion, and share your experience in smaller groups (in Zoom breakout rooms)
- Volunteer for the Online JA CV & Interview Skills workshop – here you’ll provide feedback on students’ resume and conduct a mock interview for the students to practice interviewing.
Volunteers need to be available for the duration of the program that’s run to facilitate the JA syllabus, using available materials. Courses are about 4 to 6 hours in duration, and you will facilitate a minimum of one activity per visit (as per the syllabus provided in the JA program kit). There will be follow through on promises made to the teacher, class, or school.
Volunteers also need to exchange contact details with JA and a partner volunteer, maintain consistent communication with the classroom teacher, teacher-in-charge, and the JA office. If you need a schedule change, you commit to informing the JA office. You’ll also need to do a complete program evaluation at the end of the program.
If you would like to sign up or know more about volunteering, please contact Hau Yee at [email protected] to make your inquiry.