Posts Tagged: Junior Achievement

A Lifetime of Junior Achievement

October 8th, 2015

Our President & Founder, Chris Burkhard was honored last night as a Distinguished Alumni by Junior Achievement of Delaware during the organization’s 26th annual Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame induction. In a Facebook announcement leading up to the event, JA shared, “We are excited to feature Chris Burkhard of Outside-In® Companies this year, with a new category of recognition, The JA Distinguished Alumni Award. He is the epitome of what Junior Achievement stands for.” Chris, a self-proclaimed “JA Kid”, has experienced virtually every role in Junior Achievement, from student to his current alumni status. We interviewed Chris to hear about his JA journey that led him to earn this award.

How did you get involved with Junior Achievement?
Burkhard-srpicMy dad was on the Junior Achievement of Delaware board for 20+ years. When I was 13 or 14 and a freshman in high school, he volunteered me to go to a JA program at Newark High School. That was where it all started.

Tell us about what it was like to be a JA kid.
I wasn’t much of a student at the time, I did OK, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t all that excited about being dropped off for the program. But I ended up really liking it. I liked being a part of the company program where we built a company, designed a product and then sold it. I also distinctly remember that I didn’t like the manufacturing part of the program. I recall not wanting to go to the first couple meetings and I definitely didn’t want to tell my mom that. But, like I said, I ended up really enjoying it.

Do you remember the company or product that you created?
We created and sold Birdhouse Kits. In those days, there were about 30 kids in the program who were broken up into small groups, each of which created their own company. I can’t remember the name of our birdhouse company. And as the Head of Marketing in the group, it’s really driving me crazy!

How is the program different today than it was when you were a student?
The program has really come a long way. Back in the day, the company program was more ‘templated’. There were a bunch of questions and we filled in answers. Today, the program encourages the kids to think and process through the decisions you really have to make when you start a company. Looking back, I realize that the program was modeled more after big, public companies. The concept of an entrepreneur wasn’t the same back then. I also remember that we issued stock certificates in the program! Today, it’s equity shares.

What roles have you held in JA?
I started as a student in the program. Next I was a volunteer in the classroom for may years – I taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders. I even taught with my kids. I became a board member around 2003, Chair Elect 2010-2011 and was the Board Chairman in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Now I am what they call “Chair Emeritus Council.” Over the years, I worked on growing programming in Cecil County, entrepreneurial innovation in other parts of Delaware, and was on the leadership council of the board for many years.

If you had to sum it up, what has ‪#‎JA‬ done for you?
JA helps kids figure out who they are and what they want to be — and it must work because look at me, I’m a “JA kid”. I was a teenager when I was first introduced to JA, and just like any classic teenage boy, I was into sports and girls. I wasn’t all that interested in going to a school program that my parents wanted me to go to. And I didn’t yet appreciate what my dad had accomplished as an entrepreneur. But after going to a few sessions, JA became the first thing I tolerated as a teenager. A few years later, I began to build an appreciation for my dad and what he accomplished. Fast forward to today, and now building businesses and working with the next generation of JA kids is a passion.

You know the concept of “flow” and how when you lose track of time doing something you love? That’s how I feel when I watch the kids as they start to ‘get it.’ I see how much the kids learn and how much harder it can be than school, but how it can be that much more interesting to them. I have come to understand that the schools have their hands full and when you see these kids learn something that the school environment does not teach, it’s really amazing. I had a parent tell me that the most her son learned in high school was through his JA experience. That’s what it’s all about. When you put a mentor and a child with curiosity together and start to see the kids respond with interest – that’s what it was all about. Finally, it was really fun to hang out with my daughter while she taught a JA program. Perhaps I’m passing the torch, but if not, JA has been a great family experience for me.

What do you hope for JA in the future? What do you hope for the next generation?
Today, the teenagers that sign up for JA are the ones that are smart, the ones that are trying to do well and get a leg up. This is great. But we also have to reach the Chris Burkhards who aren’t interested and don’t think its cool. How about the kids that don’t know about the program and don’t have families that will sign them up? Also, as JA expands the way the program is delivered through technology and race to make the concepts easier to consume, I hope we don’t forget the power of the volunteer. As we develop online and create better tools, I hope JA doesn’t forget the connection between the kids and their mentors.

About Junior Achievement of Delaware

Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement (JA) of Delaware offers in-school and after-school experiences for students in grades K-12.  JA experiences focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Junior Achievement of Delaware serves all three counties in the State of Delaware, as well as, Cecil and Salem counties in Maryland and New Jersey respectively.

If you’re interested in volunteering or signing a student up for a JA experience, please visit Junior Achievement of Delaware’s website here.

CBI Group Kicks Off November Charity

November 12th, 2012

CBI Group is excited to announce the selection of our Charity of the Month for November: Junior Achievement of Delaware! Last week, we kicked off the Charity of the Month program with the announcement of  A Night of Achievement – a CBI Group sponsored benefit organized to raise money and build awareness around the great work that JA does for children in Delaware.

A Night of Achievement will be held on Thursday, November 15th from 5-8pm at Klondike Kate’s in Newark, DE. Tickets cost $10 and a portion of the ticket sales to be donated to JA. Live music, raffles, trivia, free food & drink specials are included with purchase of your ticket. Come out to learn more about volunteer opportunities with JA, meet with members of JA staff, or just come out to have a great night with a great organization!

CBI Group has enjoyed a strong relationship with Junior Achievement of Delaware for many years. CBI Group President Chris Burkhard has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the past 2 years and many CBI Group team members volunteer in the classrooms as JA teachers. The team is thrilled to dedicate a month of service to Junior Achievement of Delaware and are looking forward to celebrating its accomplishments at A Night of Achievement.

Not familiar with Junior Achievement? The Mission Statement on the organization’s Delaware website reads:

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise.  Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA offers in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12.  JA programs focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development.  Junior Achievement programs reach over 4 million students per year, in 124 markets in urban, rural, and suburban area in all 50 states across the U.S. – a total of 115 million students since the organization began in 1919. 

If you would like to attend A Night of Achievement, you can purchase tickets via credit card by visiting Klondike Kate’s store website. (Update: Tickets are no longer on sale.)

Want to learn more about Junior Achievement and its upcoming events? Visit

CBI Group Puts On Their PJs For a Good Cause

October 5th, 2012

Last Friday, our team members put their best slippers forward for CBI Group’s first monthly Pajama Day! The event was organized by recruiter extraordinaire, Colleen Lucchesi, who also suggested that the event be more than just an excuse to wear our PJs to work. Employees who participated donated money towards CBI Group’s fundraising initiative for Junior Achievement of Delaware.

Pajama Day!

Fabulous Slippers

Ashley, Dave, Kathy, & Gab

Kathy’s Close Up!

Press Release: 30+ Volunteers Come Out to Revitalize the Local Junior Achievement Headquarters

August 17th, 2012

 CBI Group President Chris Burkhard serves as Chair of the Junior Achievement of Delaware 2012-13 Board of Directors. At CBI Group, we value the impact of volunteerism and outreach in our community, and we would like to share this press release on behalf of Junior Achievement of Delaware. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                                                     MEDIA CONTACT:

August 16, 2012                                                                                                                             Rob Eppes, 302 654-4510



ING DIRECT’s Sixth Annual Orange Days of Giving Lends Helpful Hands to Community Projects in Wilmington

Wilmington – Associates at ING DIRECT believe strongly in giving back to their communities. To put their beliefs into action, more than 30 volunteers are lending a helping hand at Junior Achievement of Delaware on August 16. The projects are part of ING DIRECT’s sixth annual Orange Days of Giving.

“We enjoy a strong and productive partnership with ING DIRECT in the delivery of our educational experiences for young people,” said JA of Delaware president Rob Eppes, “so it comes as no surprise to us that they are also willing to lend a hand to help keep our unique learning environment looking fresh and new.”

ING DIRECT associates are prepping and painting the office areas of the Delaware headquarters for Junior Achievement.  Junior Achievement of Delaware serves an average of 20,000 K-12 students annually with volunteer-led curriculum around Work Readiness, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Literacy

To date, ING DIRECT Associates throughout the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast locations have dedicated thousands of hours during the Orange Days of Giving toward charitable causes that support the bank’s mission of assisting communities through economic empowerment, financial education and life skills. ING DIRECT and Associates work year round on projects to instill the basics of earning, learning, saving, spending and investing so others can make informed financial decisions and improve their quality of life. When financial education is coupled with life skill lessons, those in need are given the building blocks to a more secure future.   During the course of a year, ING DIRECT provides more volunteers and volunteer hours than any other organization in support of Junior Achievement of Delaware.

About Junior Achievement of Delaware

Junior Achievement of Delaware serves students in Kindergarten-12th grade with engaging, volunteer-led learning experiences around Work Readiness, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Literacy.  JA of Delaware recently hosted the 2012 JA Global Titan Challenge, where students from China, Russia, Poland, Canada and the U.S. competed as CEOs in a virtual economy.  Last week, JA of Delaware announced it is the recipient of a Metlife Entrepreneurial Award for the JA Innovation Hub Career & College Readiness Experience they developed to introduce young people to STEM careers and educational paths by allowing kids to discover how they can change the world.  For more information visit


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