Accelerating dreams – Junior Achievement Free Enterprise Center toured by Governor Polis

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and JA-Rocky Mountain President & CEO Robin Wise at the Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently toured Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain’s (JA) state-of-the-art JA Free Enterprise Center in Greenwood Village. Governor Polis initially took a hardhat tour of the site in November 2022 when construction was still underway. Earlier this month, the Governor saw the fully operational facility for the first time.

The Governor experienced the Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator, an interactive and responsive career exploration program that inspires high school students to develop a plan to pursue a meaningful career and future. With the JA Dream Accelerator, students realize their strengths and interests and how they align with a variety of careers, are motivated by stories from emerging entrepreneurs and Colorado visionaries, and explore how their financial goals coincide with career and lifestyle choices. The JA Dream Accelerator has already proven to be effective in its first year of operation, as 100% of educators taking the post-survey say they would recommend JA after having their students experience the program.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis experiencing the “Picture Your Strengths” simulation at the Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator.

“Giving students the opportunity to learn about financial basics puts them on a strong path to success. I was excited to tour the Junior Achievement Dream Accelerator and see how the program is preparing high school students to succeed in Colorado’s economy,” Governor Polis said.

Governor Polis has been an advocate for financial literacy during his time in office. He proclaimed October 2023 as Economic Education Month in the state of Colorado, saying, “Economic Education Month serves as an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of our educators, students, and community partners who are committed to advancing economic education and ensuring that Colorado remains a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

JA’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, with programming focused on three pillars: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. The JA Free Enterprise Center, which has been hosting students during the 2023/24 school year, does this through its two on-site programs; the JA Dream Accelerator and Robert and Judi Newman Finance Park, presented by Transamerica. At JA Finance Park, students build a foundation for making intelligent and lifelong personal finance decisions through a hands-on, realistic simulation experience.

When not in use by JA, spaces within the JA Free Enterprise Center are available for community use and event rentals, including conference rooms, a large terrace overlooking the Rocky Mountains, and a hospitality lounge with capacity for groups of up to 250 people. All proceeds from event rentals go directly to support JA’s programs.

For more information on the Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator, visit https://www.JARockyMountain.org/dream-accelerator/.

For more information on the JA Free Enterprise Center, visit https://www.JARockyMountain.org/lets-build-the-future.