Documentary Highlights 100 Years of Dedication to Giving Young People the Knowledge and Skills They Need to Own Their Economic Success
HARTFORD, Conn. (April 10, 2019) – With a tireless belief in the boundless potential of students, Junior Achievement (JA) has dedicated itself to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Marking its centennial in 2019, Junior Achievement now serves nearly 4.9 million students each year. To mark JA’s 100th anniversary, Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) will premiere Made Possible: The Business of Junior Achievement on Tuesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (with a repeat airing at 11 p.m.). The hour-long documentary showcases the history of JA and offers compelling stories and interviews detailing how the organization has impacted young people, from kindergarten to 12th grade, through lessons of financial literacy, workplace readiness, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the film documents the challenges the nonprofit organization has faced over the past hundred years — including surviving the Great Depression, World War II, and the counterculture movement of the 1960s.
Shot in a diverse array of American cities — including Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and more — Made Possible: The Business of Junior Achievement tells the story of lives impacted by the organization. Founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1919 by Theodore Vail, president of American Telephone & Telegraph; Horace Moses, president of Strathmore Paper Co.; and Senator Murray Crane of Massachusetts, JA’s first program, JA Company Program®, was offered to high school students on an after-school basis. In 1975, the organization entered the classroom with the introduction of Project Business for the middle grades. Over the past 39 years, Junior Achievement has expanded its activities and broadened its scope to include in-school and after-school students. Today JA programs are taught by volunteers in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas throughout the United States in all 50 states. Under the umbrella of JA Worldwide, Junior Achievement also offers programs in more than 100 countries internationally, reaching an additional 5.2 million young people.
Made Possible: The Business of Junior Achievement is narrated by JA alumnus Juju Chang, television journalist for ABC News and anchor of Nightline. The show includes interviews with other renowned JA alumni including CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta and Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank personality Mark Cuban. The show also features an inside look at the first-of-its-kind JA Academy at Banneker High School in Atlanta, where students are immersed in a relevant, experiential curriculum with JA’s core mission and business lessons embedded in all classes from history to biology.
“Connecticut Public Television had a big job…to tell the 100-year story of Junior Achievement, an organization that spans 50 states and 100 countries worldwide. This inspiring film not only shines a light on the meaningful contributions Junior Achievement has made on the economic development of our country over the past century, but also on the role Junior Achievement continues to play in Connecticut’s economic development and our efforts to develop the next generation of workers and future leaders. It is truly humbling that Junior Achievement of Southwest New England was selected as one of only seven chapters nationwide to be featured in this historic project,” said Jeremy Race, M.Ed. President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Southwest New England.
“We’re honored to be able to share the story of Junior Achievement and highlight their success in enabling students to realize their dreams, by delivering programs of hope and opportunity to communities around the world,” said Mark Contreras, President & CEO of Connecticut Public, parent company of Connecticut Public Television. “Their story is unique; it’s transformative; and it’s inspiring.”
Funding for Made Possible: The Business of Junior Achievement is provided by American Honda Finance Corporation and the Coca-Cola Company. The show is produced by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and is available nationwide to public television stations via NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association. John Holt is the show’s producer. Previews of the show are available at https://cptv.org/madepossible.
About Connecticut Public Television
Connecticut Public Television is an affiliate of PBS and a media service of Connecticut Public. A locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, Connecticut Public Television offers original documentaries, public affairs, and educational programming. Connecticut Public Television also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV Spirit, created for the “doers,” “makers,” and “adventurers” who crave more action, edgier journalism and documentaries, and more active ways to feed their curiosity, and CPTV Create, which features the best of public media’s how-to programming. For more information, visit cptv.org.