VE Junior Ventures Career Academy

The VE-JV Career Academy is a two-year program that will enable 7th and 8th graders to develop technology and entrepreneurial skills by starting and managing business ventures. The Career Academy will also engage students in fun and exciting competitions as well as after-school and summer activities that build 21st Century skills in business, communication and technology.

The VE-JV Career Academy offers a real-world context for learning about business and careers. The classroom is converted into a workplace setting that allows business thinking to flourish. Students also apply and reinforce academic concepts across many subjects.

With support from the New York Life Foundation, VEI is piloting the Virtual Enterprises Junior Ventures Career Academy in a select number of cities between 2015 and 2019. As of the 2017-18 school year the VE-JV program will serve 2,500 students across several of the nation’s largest school districts, including the New York City Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified Public School District, and Broward County School District.

Download VE-JV informational brochure

See below for information about the program, program objectives, supporting activities, and how to start a program in your school.

7th Grade Program

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The VE-JV Career Academy begins in the 7th grade with a Technology Applications and Graphic Arts class. Students work in teams to start a business and use technology to create the projects and materials needed for their new business venture. Projects are designed to develop skills in technology, communications, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students use a variety of Microsoft Office and Adobe software applications to produce accounting, financial, marketing, and presentation materials as well as other documents. The class culminates in a business pitch competition.

Summer Business Leadership Camp

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This one-week experience, hosted at a local college, will provide students with active learning opportunities. Students will be involved in team building and public-speaking exercises and take part in field trips to corporate offices and a business incubator, where they will hear from and network with industry professionals.

8th Grade Program

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The VE-JV program in the 8th grade challenges students to collaborate with their class to launch and manage a business. They are involved in all aspects of running the business, from marketing, sales, and human resources to accounting, finance and IT. Students fill different positions within the company including department managers and a CEO. Running all aspects of a company, VE-JV students learn about business and develop professionalism, self-confidence, teamwork and an entrepreneurial mindset. The 8th grade program is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in a variety of careers—experience that will enhance their motivation to learn and inform their decisions about future educational and career options.

Program Objectives

  1. To build awareness about a variety of careers and occupations.
  1. To convey the expectations of the workplace and develop professional behaviors.
  1. To develop skills in entrepreneurship, problem-solving, decision-making, time management, public speaking, financial literacy, teamwork and technology.
  1. To connect academic content to real-world projects.
  1. To enable students to use and interact with technology as applied in business.

Supporting Activities

  • Business pitch competition
  • National website competition
  • Trade show
  • SIFMA Foundation InvestWrite®, an essay competition on investment-related topics
  • SIFMA Foundation Stock Market Game™
  • Mentoring by business partners and high school VE students
  • Summer business leadership camp for rising eighth graders
  • After-school technology class

Memo of Intent for New and Existing Programs

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