To inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy

Dry cereal, juice pouch, and a packet of goldfish. That is breakfast for 3 out of 4 Tucson kids during the school year. In South Tucson, over half of families with children under 18 are impoverished. Food banks and homeless shelters are strained to their breaking points. They are band-aids – they CANNOT solve the problem of persistent inter-generational poverty.
What would our Tucson community look like if every adult had a fulfilling career with financial knowledge to manage their money? No poverty, no homelessness, and no children going to bed hungry.
This is the vision of Junior Achievement of Arizona. Our mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. JA empowers young people with the skills to succeed in work and life. We give students the knowledge they need to manage their money, plan for their future, and make smart academic, career and economic choices. Our effect is more financially stable families, eliminating generational poverty, forever.


“You were born to change the world.” For 8 year old Malachi Kern, these words transformed his destiny. Malachi saw his father in & out of prison, his brothers in gangs, and had no hope for a different future. Luckily for Malachi, destiny came in the form of a Junior Achievement volunteer teaching in his 3rd grade classroom. The volunteer told young Malachi Kern during his time teaching the class, “You were born to change the world”. Those words resonated with young Malachi and gave him hope for the future. His life dramatically changed again 7 years later. Riding on a public bus. Malachi was stunned to recognize the man who had changed his life in 3rd grade. Fate had brought his Junior Achievement volunteer into his life once again when he most needed hope. This incredible man had an opportunity he thought would be perfect for Malachi – a competition for high schoolers for the title of “Mr. Business”. Malachi won the title, as well as the full-ride scholarship that came with it. Today, Malachi has a fulfilling career with Commerce Bank and he is paying it forward, “I am accepting the challenge to give back to the community, to go into the classroom, to help the kids”. At Junior Achievement we are in the business of destiny. We believe every student has the unlimited potential to change the world. A $400 tax credit investment will give 12 kids right here in Tucson the chance to change their destiny. You were born to change the world. Invest in Junior Achievement and unleash a child’s potential.