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Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida and Partners Launch Inclusive JA Inspire Too Career Expo

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Jan. 30, 2024 – Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, in collaboration with LARC, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Buckingham Exceptional Student Center, and Lee County School District, proudly hosted the inaugural JA Inspire Too career expo for exceptional students on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at the Buckingham Exceptional Student Center.

Inspired by the success of the JA Inspire career expo, a program aimed at familiarizing 8th-grade students in Collier and Lee counties with the workforce demands of the region's rapidly growing industries, JA Inspire Too is an inclusive event specifically tailored to open doors for exceptional students. Following a three-lesson curriculum delivered in classrooms, students had the unique opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with representatives from real Southwest Florida employers, gaining insights into the requirements to earn credentials, acquire real-world work experience, and ultimately secure employment.

The JA Inspire Too career exploration fair witnessed tremendous success, drawing a total of 119 students. Over 50 students were bussed in from 14 Lee County high schools, while the remaining attendees were from the Buckingham Exceptional Student Center. The day-long event allowed students to immerse themselves in various career opportunities presented by 10 participating career path advisors. These advisors represented diverse sectors, including Goodwill, Hertz, Home Depot, Jason’s Deli, Topaz Assistance Dogs, YMCA-Southwest Florida, Ecological Labs, LARC, H.I.R.E-Fort Myers and Cape Coral Tech, and Project Search.

Students arrived early and eagerly explored the career paths laid out before them, engaging with industry professionals and gaining valuable insights into potential future endeavors. The positive response from both students and advisors underscored the importance of creating inclusive platforms for exceptional students to explore, learn, and connect with potential employers.

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida and its esteemed partners express gratitude for the collaborative effort that made the JA Inspire Too career expo a resounding success. This event exemplifies our commitment to providing valuable opportunities for all students, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and resources needed for future success in the workforce.

For more information about Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida and its programs, please visit

About Junior Achievement

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 learning experiences 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. Additionally, Junior Achievement is expanding its reach to 18-to-25-year-olds to provide young adults with critical life skills, as well as to pre-K youth to ensure children get a solid head start. Today, JA reaches more than 4.4 million students per year in 102 markets across the United States as part of 12.5 million students served by operations in more than 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. For more information, visit

Locally, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partnered with classroom business volunteers during the 2022-2023 school year to provide 160,865 hours of instruction to 12,259 students throughout Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties. For more information on Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, visit, call (239) 225-2590, or email

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