New Online Resource Helps Educators Discuss Pros and Cons of Student Loans

Junior Achievement USA® and Voya Foundation Launch "JA Influencer," a Free Resource for Educators, School Counselors, Parents and Students

Feb 24, 2016, 10:00 ET from Junior Achievement USA

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Junior Achievement USA® is unveiling a brand new online resource that allows teachers, school counselors, and parents to help high school students better understand the finer points of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. The resource, JA Influencer, is part of Junior Achievement's (JA) ongoing effort to empower young people to own their economic success and has been made available through a generous grant from Voya Financial's Voya Foundation.

JA Influencer — which can be found at — offers practical lessons on the fundamental aspects of personal economics and how economic decisions affect students' daily lives, and of course, their futures. Students are introduced to current events in ways that make them relevant to their daily lives in order to prompt conversation and learning on workforce readiness, college, careers, entrepreneurship, and many other personal economic topics.

The first offering is "Understanding The Student Loan Explosion: Implications for Students and Their Families," which includes an overview of the opportunities and challenges associated with student loans, and investigates the various factors students should take into consideration when exploring opportunities in higher education.

"Almost daily we hear about the challenges many young adults face — struggling with limited job opportunities and considerable student debt," said Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. "JA Influencer allows students to explore these real-life issues and current events in ways that show them how to better prepare themselves for their own futures and careers. It also opens their eyes to new perspectives and gives them practical strategies to succeed."

JA Influencer is the result of support from Voya to reach students through Junior Achievement. Voya has partnered with Junior Achievement since 2001; the partnership is centered on the shared belief in the need to actively prepare and equip future generations to succeed.

"Education is the cornerstone of our commitment to protect the well-being of our communities," said Angela Harrell, head of Voya Foundation and Voya Financial's Office of Corporate Responsibility. "JA Influencer provides a fantastic way to help students learn about the importance of their financial futures. We are proud to partner on this program as part of our longstanding relationship with JA."

About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial® operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children's education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit

About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2015. The company had $452 billion in total assets under management and administration as of December 31, 2015. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya's vision is to be America's Retirement CompanyTM. The company is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible — Voya has been recognized as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies, by the Ethisphere Institute, and as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit or view the company's 2014 annual report. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.

About Junior Achievement USA® Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.6 million students per year in 112 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 121 other countries worldwide. Visit for more information.


SOURCE Junior Achievement USA