Junior Achievement Announces Dates for JA Inspire Career Exploration Program for 8th Grade Students

October 2, 2018 - Warwick, RI – Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) will welcome 4,500 8th grade students to the Rhode Island Convention Center on December 5th and 6th as part of the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair. This capstone event allows students to explore in an experiential, hands-on learning manner, various career opportunities in Rhode Island’s high-wage/ high-demand industries. JA Inspire’s leading sponsor is the Warren Alpert Foundation. The program is also supported by the Governor’s Workforce Board as part of PrepareRI, a statewide initiative to prepare all students for success in college and career. Other supporters of JA Inspire include Cox Business, Fidelity Investments, KPMG, the Rhode Island Foundation, and WJAR/NBC10.

“JA Inspire is opening students’ eyes to opportunities right here in Rhode Island.” said Lee Lewis, president of JA Rhode Island. “Over 2,300 students participated in the pilot of JA Inspire in the last academic year and 75% of those students said they were introduced to businesses that they didn’t know before.”

Prior to attending the career exploration fair, students will complete an in-class curriculum where they will take a personality assessment to see what jobs align with their interests, research those jobs, and see what skills and educational requirements are needed to obtain and be successful in those jobs. At the JA Inspire Career Fair, students will have the opportunity to speak directly with mentors who work in these industries and will share their career advice with students.

“Every single high school graduate should be equipped with the skills and confidence they need to be successful in a 21st century economy. When we provide career exploration and education opportunities for our students, as early and as often as possible, we help them to reimagine their futures and set them on a path to be more engaged in their education.” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Students currently signed up to participate in this year’s JA Inspire program come from the Burrillville, Central Falls, Cranston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket school districts. They will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from local career and technical high schools, colleges/universities, and employers that include Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Computer Science 4 RI (CS4RI), Cox Business, Electric Boat, New England Institute of Technology, Newport Harbor Corporation, William Davies Career & Technical High School, and the Woonsocket Career Technical Center, just to name a few. A full list of exhibitors to date is available on the JA Inspire website at www.jainspireri.org. All exhibitors will have hands-on activities for the students related to their industry.

Schools that are interested in having their 8th grade students participate, or companies that would like to exhibit, can visit the JA Inspire website at www.jainspireri.org for more information or to sign-up.

Check out pictures from our March 2018 JA Inspire event:


Citizens Bank’s Suzanne Carmody Elected Chairman of Junior Achievement Board of Directors

July 20, 2018 - Warwick, RI – Suzanne Carmody, Senior Vice President/Head of Core Banking Sourcing at Citizens Bank, was elected Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) at their Annual Meeting of the Corporation held on June 26th. Sue has served on the board since 2016 and is a resident of Cranston, RI. JA is the state’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through volunteer-led, experiential, hands-on programs. JA’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

In addition to Sue’s election as chairman, two other officers were re-elected and two new members joined the board:

  • Ashlee Accetta, Community Relations Manager at Fidelity Investments, was elected to her first term on the board of directors through June 30, 2021. Ashlee is a resident of East Greenwich, RI.

  • Craig Bilodeau, Partner at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co., LLP, has been re-elected as the board’s Treasurer. Craig has been on the board since 2013. Craig is a resident of Cranston, RI.

  • Sherri Carrera, Account Manager at GLAD WORKS, has been re-elected as the board’s secretary. Sherri has been on the board since 2012. Sherri is a resident of Warwick, RI.

  • Graham Chapman, Manager of Community Partnerships at Santander Bank, was elected to his first term on the board of directors through June 30, 2021. Graham is a resident of Pembroke, MA.

The following staff change was also announced:

  • Jeffrey Cartee, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, previously serving as Vice President of Development. Jeff has been with JA since 2012 and as Executive Vice President he will oversee the development and events, operations and finance, and education departments. Jeff is a resident of Warwick, RI.

Junior Achievement’s board of directors is comprised of business, education, and community leaders that represent the diverse facets of Rhode Island’s economy and work force. The board sets and monitors the strategic direction of JA, helps to secure the necessary resources to ensure quality programming and operations, participates as and secures volunteers, and serves as ambassadors to the community to actively promote the mission and purpose of the organization.

“Junior Achievement is committed to finding the very best leaders in Rhode Island to lead and advance the JA mission,” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement. “We are excited to begin our new year with Sue at the helm and look forward to a great year ahead working to impact the lives of Rhode Island’s most valuable resource – its young people.”