Junior Achievement of Washington Partners with the State of Innovation Challenge, Inviting WA Youth to Design Solutions to the State's Critical Issues
Junior Achievement of Washington is partnering with the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the STEM Education and Innovation Alliance, and Career Connect Washington to launch the State of Innovation Challenge. This virtual, career-connected problem solving challenge invites Washington state youth to design and share their solutions to some of the biggest issues Washington’s employers and communities are facing now. From COVID-19 to the state food supply, to creating sustainable communities, students will explore these issues in-depth and work with educators and industry leaders to design solutions.
“Washington has always been a state of dreamers, doers, and innovators,” Gov. Inslee said. “This year, as we face some of the biggest challenges our state has ever faced, we want to invite the next generation of problem solvers to help us find the way forward.”
Junior Achievement of Washington’s program focus on financial empowerment, career readiness, and entrepreneurship is the ideal complement to support youth in the Challenge, helping them connect classroom topics with real-world issues. JA is providing the JA Be Entrepreneurial and JA Launch Lesson programs, particularly as they introduce the concept of design thinking and prepares students for engaging with entrepreneurial leaders. “We’re thrilled to partner with so many statewide education groups to launch the State of Innovation Challenge,” said Natalie Vega O’Neil, President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Washington. “JA programs are uniquely positioned to help guide youth in their research and work as they innovate and create solutions that can have a profound impact on the future of Washington state. Furthermore, the Challenge creates pathways for youth who may face barriers to further education and opportunity. We need to be tapping into the potential of this next generation of leaders to pave the way for brighter tomorrows.”
Youth in middle school, high school, and alternative education programs are eligible to participate in the State of Innovation Challenge. In addition to working directly with JA and other educators, other partners include Career Connect Washington, 4-H Washington, and other education and youth-focused community partners across the state.
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