Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement

Integrated team remotely delivered new content management platform

Leveraged multiple Microsoft technologies to deliver a secure, scalable education learning platform


Junior Achievement needed a comprehensive platform to manage its pivot from exclusively instructor-led, in-person learning to a more self-guided, online content delivery model.


Surge – a Catalyte company designed and implemented a content management and delivery platform for Junior Achievement to meet the needs of its expanded online educational content delivery model. The platform allows creators at the national level to produce content available for students in all areas, while also allowing area administrators to craft content specific to their area and students’ needs. As part of a full team, apprentice developers successfully performed the bulk of the implementation in a remote work environment.

Junior Achievement (JA) is a nonprofit that prepares young people to succeed in a global economy by giving them the knowledge and skills needed to own their economic success, plan for their futures and make smart academic and economic choices. To expand its ability to do so, JA decided to pivot to a more self-guided, online content delivery model.

Requirements analysis and design sessions lead to development success

“Surge – a Catalyte company did a great job of guiding us through the process and providing a business-focused perspective on the technical work to be done,” 

~Jeannine Reilly, vice president, education delivery and technology solutions at Junior Achievement USA.

Through extensive requirements analysis, design sessions and platform selection exercises, Surge designed a microservices-based architecture leveraging Azure technologies and open source content management tools based on the.NET core framework. 

Additionally, Surge analyzed a legacy Angular application. The team designed a modernization effort to meet the project requirements, integrate with the new functionality introduced during the project and reduce overall development costs by leveraging existing JA assets and investments.

New content management platform allows for more self-learning

This groundwork was fundamental for the smooth development of integrated applications, Connect Learning Pathways (CLP) and Digital Career Book (DCB), which comprised the new platform.

Both were designed and built to house national content, but only allow authorized users to access secure, area-specific content.

Leveraging open source content management technology, Azure App Services, Azure Cognitive Search and Azure SQL, Surge designed and implemented CLP, which provides self-guided learning through search driven navigation, including blog posts, event calendaring, educational/informational articles and integration with existing web-based learning management system content. It also serves as an online hub for students where they can track contacts, favorite content and gain access to any online JA programs for which they are registered.

For DCB, which provides users with career, educator and employer information relevant to their locale, Surge modernized and extended a legacy Angular application. This leveraged the existing microservices developed for CLP, allowing the applications to achieve core functionality while retaining as much of the existing codebase as possible.

Reducing management overhead and improving communications

Throughout the project, Surge worked directly with other JA vendors to support integration with the new platform and to offer guidance on best-practices and technologies.

Surge’s willingness to take the lead and engage with other vendors in a collaborative manner reduced JA senior management workload and ensured best-of-breed platform integration and interoperability.

Surge also worked directly with JA’s IT services department, taking the lead on provisioning and configuration of Azure services, identity management and security, reducing the workload typically required of JA’s IT team with other development initiatives. Surge delivered this value in a fully remote environment.

“Other vendors could’t handle virtual or remote environments,” said Reilly. “Surge was able to effectively and successfully manage resources in a virtual environment. They were also able to prepare and mentor apprentice developers so that we didn’t miss a beat and they continued to deliver work that benefited Junior Achievement.”

Secure, scalable platform to help educate future leaders

Junior Achievement will be able to securely and remotely support their students with a new platform designed to scale to hundreds of thousands of users without refactoring or recoding.

Clear communication, even when remote

Surge’s onshore resources had no communications barriers and were able to continue delivering at a high-level remotely when other vendors couldn’t.

Apprentice developers prove their worth

Apprentice developers proved to be an excellent, cost-effective resourcing option by quickly ramping up and performing the bulk of the implementation under the guidance of senior team leaders.

“Working with Surge – a Catalyte company was a great experience. We came out with an amazing product that we already see gaining traction. Junior Achievement tries to create a team, community and family. We were able to do that with Surge. It’s been a great partnership that we look forward to continuing.”

– Jeannine Reilly, vice president, education delivery and technology solutions at Junior Achievement USA

Key technologies/skills

Visit our Microsoft Azure page to hire developers


.NET core


Entity Framework Core


Visit our Angular page to hire developers



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