Junior Achievement executive director resigns

Junior Achievement’s local executive director, Laurie Cook, has resigned.


Cook said her last day with the organization will be Thursday. She is leaving because Junior Achievement of Georgia Inc. is restructuring in areas outside of Atlanta to reserve more money for the program, she said.

Junior Achievement of Georgia Inc., has six offices in Georgia. The program is supported mostly by local businesses and some state funding, Cook said.

The local office at 131 Eve St. has two staff members, including Cook, and will be reduced to one part-time employee, she said. Cook worked as executive director for Junior Achievement of Georgia Inc.–CSRA District for six years and volunteered to resign.

“They’re trying to consolidate so they can continue serving kids. To try to do it a little bit more economically,” Cook said. “They’re very strong financially. They’re just trying to stretch resources. With the district offices like ours, they’re trying to be good stewards with their resources and put more towards the programs.”

For instance, Junior Achievement is preparing to build a center in Atlanta for Georgia children to learn about business and finance, she said.

Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization focused on educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through hands-on programs. The program has more than 120 area offices across the United States, according to its Web site.

Locally, the program’s in-class programs, career fairs and job shadowing will continue, but on a smaller scale in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, Cook said.

In the next fiscal year, the local district will have a smaller student reach, fewer job shadowing events and only two fundraising events, including the CSRA Business Hall of Fame, down from six events. However, this reduction is temporary and Junior Achievement plans “to grow the program in succeeding years,” she said.

Junior Achievement has served more than 7,000 children in the local community. Cook plans to stay in Augusta and find work with another nonprofit organization, she said.

“We’ve done some great things, and I’m really proud of the things that we’ve done,” she said.