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Junior Achievement Operations Win International Awards for Innovation

MetLife Foundation provides grants to support scalable programs around the globe.

Colorado Springs, Colo. - Seven Junior Achievement (JA) operations won 2013 MetLife Foundation  Entrepreneurial Awards, including grants of $25, 000 each, for outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship. Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, in Minneapolis, Minn., received an additional $25, 000 grant for exceptional achievement in these areas.  In addition, MetLife Foundation "Sowing the Seeds of Entrepreneurship" Awards were presented to five JA operations. They received grants of $10, 000 each to implement promising, but untested innovations. The 2013 winners were announced last week at JA conferences in Europe and the U.S.

Junior Achievement and MetLife Foundation have partnered for 13 years to recognize and scale exemplary entrepreneurship innovations developed by JA operations around the world.

"MetLife Foundation recognizes the important role that Junior Achievement plays worldwide in inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy, " said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "We are pleased to join JA in honoring 12 operations whose exemplary innovations and entrepreneurship are helping them reach more young people with effective, high-quality programs."

The top MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award and $50, 000 was presented to Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest for the STEM Enhancement Initiative, which ties meaningful science, technology, engineering, and math education into key JA experiences.

Additional 2013 MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award winners include:

o   INJAZ Egypt, INJAZ Egypt Adopt-A -School Project

Companies work with schools to develop the entrepreneurship pipeline to drive innovation and create jobs. 

o   INJAZ al Maghrib-Morocco, Stock in Action Program

This program helps young people better understand securities markets.

o   JA Jamaica, Junior Achievement Enhanced Youth Experience (JA EYE)

JA EYE supports students by engaging parents and teachers during the critical first four years of learning.

o   Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Penn.), JA Careers in Energy

The educational program prepares middle and high school students for careers in the energy industry.

o   Junior Achievement of San Diego County (San Diego, Calif.), JA Entrepreneurial Convention -"Pitch Fest"

JA teen entrepreneurs participate in workshops including a "Pitch Fest" facilitated by business and university leaders.

o   Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain (Denver, Colo.), Junior Achievement's "Be Entrepreneurial" and the Carson J. Spencer Foundation "FIRE Within" program partnership

This social entrepreneurship program inspires and empowers young entrepreneurs to create businesses that promote awareness of and reduce the risk of teen suicide.


The five JA operations receiving "Sowing the Seeds" Awards are: Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, Junior Achievement of Lincoln (Neb.), Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas (Houston), Junior Achievement of Uruguay, and Junior Achievement of Wisconsin.


Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide, said, "Driving innovation is key to Junior Achievement's mission. We are thankful for MetLife Foundation's support for the last 13 years to identify, fund and promote replication and adaptation of innovative programs and processes developed by JA organizations worldwide."

Building on its 93-year legacy, Junior Achievement continues to deliver innovation to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.  The MetLife Foundation Entrepreneurial Award is a significant way to recognize and drive innovation across JA through funding current programs and advancing promising concepts that promote entrepreneurship. MetLife has been a JA partner since 1972 and also supports JA at the local level through volunteer engagement and board leadership.

About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to carry on MetLife's longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement.  Through programs focused on financial empowerment and inclusion, MetLife Foundation works to build a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide.  Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $270 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.

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