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About Us2019-04-03T16:17:02-07:00

Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide

Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to helping young people understand the economics of life and the Free Enterprise System. Since 1919, JA has worked in partnership with the private sector and educators in fulfilling its mission and vision. JA Worldwide works in over 119 countries with over 8 million students, to change the way our next generation of leaders looks at their role in the world.

Junior Achievement Americas started in 1975 and has grown to over 964,024 students in over 8,000 schools in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This success is a direct result of strategic partnerships with more than 1,044 private sector companies who have dedicated 36,019 volunteers to share their experiences with and to serve as mentors to the region’s future leaders.

Virgin Islands Chapter

The purpose of the U. S. Virgin Islands Chapter of Junior Achievement International is to provide and facilitate responsive initiatives and programs that are designed to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a local and global economy through interaction with mentors, the business community, and other stakeholders.

Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands (JAVI) was initially incorporated in 1993 by a group of organizers led by Tom Bolt and Valerie George; but was later dissolved.

In July 2008 a group led by Julito Francis revived JAVI and obtained approval from the prior group to keep the name JAVI

JAVI held its first official meeting in July 2008, electing Cheryl Francis as the President. Pastor Themba was named the Acting Executive Director.

JAVI partnered with the Department of Education and obtained approval to begin the program in the public schools

February 2009, the pilot program, Economics for Success began in the middle schools.

In the 2008/2009 school year, JAVI reached out to 20 classes with a total of approximately 400 students at the Cancryn School on St. Thomas and the Elena Christian School on St. Croix; Julius E. Sprauve school was started but not completed.

To inspire and prepare youg people to succeed in a global economy
To ensure that every child in the Americas (United States Virgin Islands) has a fundamental understanding of the free enterprise system by which to create new economic opportunities that benefit their communities
  • Belief in the boundless potential of young people
  • Commitment to the principles of market-based economics and entrepreneurship
  • Passion for what we do and honesty, integrity, and excellence in how we do it
  • Respect for the talents, creativity, perspectives, and backgrounds of all individuals
  • Belief in the power of partnership and collaboration
  • Conviction in the educational and motivational impact of relevant, hands-on learning

JAUSVI Board Members

JAVI is made up of a diverse group of business leaders and Entrepreneurs from our local community.  We run into the issue of a 40 mile ocean barrier which keeps us constantly challenged.  Our board is made up of equal representation from all three islands and they are responsible for operation and expansion of JAVI programs.  Monthly meetings are held to review progress and keep on track to ensure the success of our organization.

    • John Engerman, Chairman        VP Finance Operations ICMC
    • Kirk Chewning, Vice Chair          Partner, Cane Bay Partners
    • Oran C. Bowry, Secretary           VP Banco Popular
    • Anneta Heyliger, Treasurer          Accountant, Entrepreneur
    • Jose Penn, Member                    CFO, Penn’s Group
    • Alice Krall, Member                      Entrepreneur
    • Josh Tate, Member                      Real Estate Developer
    • Marvin Pickering, Member            Dir. of  VI IRB
    • Sadie Clendinen                           HR Manager ScotiaBank
    • Patrick Cox Sr.                              Vice President , OCWEN
    • Uriel Cohen                                   Partner, White Bay

JAUSVI Executive Director

Denelle G. Baptiste
Denelle G. BaptisteExecutive Director
Denelle G. Baptiste joined Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands (JAVI) as the Executive Director in January 2019. A native Virgin Islander born on St. Thomas, Denelle completed most of her education on St. Croix where she graduated from the St. Croix Central High School. She holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Applied Mathematics (University of the Virgin Islands) and Computer Engineering (Columbia University). She brings with her 7 years of experience in Strategic Planning, Program Management, Process Improvement, Information Technology and Financial Planning & Analytics.

As a member of the St. Thomas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Denelle is an active community volunteer. She currently serves as the Chairperson for the Delta GEMS program of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. sponsored by the St. Thomas Alumnae Chapter and is a youth leader at her church, Living Hope Cathedral.

She is a passionate believer in preparing our youth to be future Virgin Island leaders and entrepreneurs, and she is excited to continue building on the legacy of JAVI for years to come.

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