Million Dollar Grant To Junior Achievement of New Jersey Supports A Program That Brings 'Economics of Life' To Life To Students

On Sunday, December 8 at MetLife Stadium, Junior Achievement of New Jersey was presented a $1 million by MetLife Foundation to own and operate a JA BizTown® program in the state of New Jersey.

The MetLife JA BizTown® of New Jersey combines in-class learning with a day-long visit to a simulated town. This national capstone program allows students to operate banks, manage restaurants, write checks, and vote for mayor. It helps students to connect the dots between what they learn in school and the real world.

"It was so cool to be holding a $1 million check! I've had JA volunteers in my classroom ever since I was a little kid," explained a sixth-grader from Lincoln School, who will be visiting the MetLife JA BizTown in June 2014. "I'm excited to learn more about how businesses are run by actually working in one for a day. I plan to be a CEO!"

"I'm going to be a professional athlete," another student chimed in. "But if that doesn't work out, I'm going to run my own sports academy!"

"Receiving this incredibly generous contribution from MetLife is a testament to the great work JA is doing for our country and here, in New Jersey. The return on investment is that thousands of children and their children's children will benefit from this gift because we reach kids at such an early age and leave life long impressions. We empower young people to own their economic success so they can be productive and responsible citizens, savvy leaders and successful entrepreneurs," said Catherine Milhone, President, Junior Achievement of New Jersey.

JA of New Jersey will pilot the program in the classroom during the spring 2014 semester with select schools culminating with field trips to the simulated town in early June next year.

"It is our responsibility to ensure a strong and sustainable economy now and for the future. MetLife Foundation is committed to programs like JA BizTown® because we believe that sound financial knowledge is the first step in building a rich financial future," said Dennis White, CEO and president of MetLife Foundation.

"Junior Achievement has a long standing history of providing these types of programs and services to young people. Their programs are always evolving with the times and it is through experiential learning programs like their BizTown model that our kids will truly benefit," he said.

The JA professional team of New Jersey trains the educators and provides all of its curriculum and programming at no cost to the schools. Through the help of corporate and community volunteers at the simulation, the students will learn first-hand what it is like to run a business and be a consumer while being mentored by adult role models.

About MetLife Foundation 
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife's long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. MetLife Foundation is affiliated to MetLife, Inc. a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit