CONNECTICUT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TRAVEL TO CHINA FOR GLOBAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Fifteen high school students from Connecticut and 20 high school students from Shanghai, China, will participate in the fourth annual Junior Achievement (JA) international exchange program, JA Global Connection, sponsored by United Technologies Corp.
Through this program, first launched in 2013 and developed by United Technologies and JA, the students will learn first-hand about American and Chinese business, entrepreneurism, global trade, and leadership.
This year’s program began Monday, August 8, at Fudan University, with an opening ceremony that will kick off a week of lectures, seminars, and workshops, including guest speakers from United Technologies, Fudan faculty, and other business leaders. Students will also participate in workshops designed to explore the many complexities of innovation, such as how to apply it to everyday life and to a global economy.
In addition to lectures and workshops, the students will visit various facilities of United Technologies’ entities in China, including United Technologies Research Center (China) Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engine Maintenance Co., Ltd. Through the intensive week of visits and exchange, the students will acquire important knowledge on technical innovations and the ability to convert and expand theories into practice.
“I can’t believe what an impact this program has had on me. I’m so thankful to have been given this opportunity by United Technologies and Junior Achievement,” said JA student Meaghan Burns, a senior at Mark T. Sheehan High School. “The business skills I develop and information I learn about entrepreneurship will help me prepare for the real world. I’ve also become close friends with the students from JA China—it’s so cool to think about working with them in our professional lives 20 years from now.”
The JA Global Connection program is organized by Junior Achievement China, based in Beijing, China, and Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, based in Hartford, CT.
“Our mission at JA is to help students become financially responsible and entrepreneurially savvy, ultimately preparing them for when they enter the workforce,” said Jeremy Race, president, JA of Southwest New England, Inc. “JA Global Connection introduces these students to unique opportunities that you can’t find in the classroom. Students are exposed to diverse business practices, getting hands-on experience with working cross-culturally within a global economy.”
The inaugural JA Global Connection program took place in 2013, when the first group of Chinese students spent a week in Connecticut, working with their American student counterparts. Last year, 20 high school students from Shanghai traveled to the United States, where they visited United Technologies’ Otis Elevator test facility in Bristol, CT, heard from a panel of entrepreneurs about their business ventures, and explored international trade issues.
“We are thrilled to continue our support of the JA Global Connection program,” said Randy Bumps, senior director, UTC Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility. “United Technologies is committed to advancing STEM education not only in our local communities, but across the globe. This program is an excellent way to show students firsthand the importance of a global business perspective and a collaborative work environment.”
Since 1998, United Technologies and its business units have donated more than $3 million to JA. In 2008, United Technologies helped redevelop the fifth grade curriculum for “JA in a Day” to include math and science concepts as a way to introduce children to opportunities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
About Junior Achievement® (JA)
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 more than 120 markets across the United States, with an additional 6.5 million students served by operations in 117 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.
About United Technologies Corp.
United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, CT, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. To learn more about the company, visit www.utc.com.