Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado relocates offices into Bijou Street Victorian

       Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado has moved to the Westside.
       Formerly located in a 10,000-square-foot-plus facility in the Cheyenne area, the non-profit agency preferred a smaller building in the downtown area, according to JA President Ken Wasoba.
       The building at 419 W. Bijou St. is a two-story, century-old Victorian.
       “We'd been looking and looking, and then we saw two Victorian houses for sale,” he said. “We bought them and sold one of them.”
       The location had been the home of Pikes Peak Mental Health Select. (The Victorian that JA sold was next door at 415 W. Bijou.)
       The 419 W. Bijou building has parking in the back, a wheelchair ramp in front and needed no renovations, Wasoba said. Working out of the building are one part- time and six full-time staff (including Wasoba and Senior Vice President David Loose), who administrate the JA programs in southern Colorado.
       In programs offered at most of the county's schools, JA provides free materials and training for students in grades K-12 to help them understand the nation's free enterprise system and how to be a part of it.
       A 46-member board of directors, representing a “cross-section of the community,” helps guide the Southern Colorado agency efforts, which include the recruiting of 1,500 volunteer business people who present the programs to the students, according to Loose. “We try to give them hope and opportunity for the future and show them how they can fit into the community.”
       JA of Southern Colorado is additionally responsible for offices in Pueblo, Glenwood Springs and Gunnison, which serve “more remote areas,” Loose noted.
       The annual budget is $877,000, which comes in through business donations, he said.
       Also in Colorado Springs (at a location in the Cheyenne area) is the headquarters of Junior Achievement Worldwide, which has 100 employees and focuses on creating and evaluating all JA programs.
       JA of Southern Colorado is the second regional business to set up a main office in the 400 block of West Bijou Street this year. Opening in January was a new Emergicare facility at 402 W. Bijou, which provides medical service and also oversees the five Emergicares in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Westside Pioneer article