Bank of America donates $200,000 to Junior Achievement to establish financial literacy center on Jacksonville’s Northside

From left, Greg Smith, president of the Northeast Florida region for Bank of America, JA North Florida President Steve St. Amand, and JA Board Chair Charlie Kauffman at the award ceremony on Dec. 17.

From left, Greg Smith, president of the Northeast Florida region for Bank of America, JA North Florida President Steve St. Amand, and JA Board Chair Charlie Kauffman at the award ceremony on Dec. 17.

Bank of America Charitable Foundation and a local market selection committee have named Junior Achievement of North Florida as the 2014 Neighborhood Builders® Award recipient.

JA of North Florida plans to use the Neighborhood Builders Award’s $200,000 unrestricted grant to fund a new initiative that targets second- and third-grade students living in New Town, a low-income neighborhood on Jacksonville’s Northside.

JA of North Florida will transform the Mitchell Community Center into the New Town Financial Literacy Center, allowing students to participate in the JA Our City program — an interactive, hands-on program that teaches students about skills people need to work in specific careers, city planning, and how business contributes to the life of the city.

“Junior Achievement of North Florida has done so much to help raise the awareness of financial literacy among schoolchildren in the Jacksonville area,” said Gregory B. Smith, Northeast Florida market president, Bank of America. “Our local market selection committee, made of members of the community, recognized the impact JA has on young lives and determined that the organization deserved to receive Bank of America’s highest philanthropic honor. The Neighborhood Builders Award will help empower JA to build leadership capacity and expand to meet the evolving needs in our community.”

Scheduled to open in 2015, the New Town Financial Literacy Center at Mitchell Community Center will seek to reach 2,500 students per year, teaching them the fundamentals of banking, business and taxes as well as financial literacy skills.

The center will start out teaching second- and third-grade students from the neighborhood and across Duval county, then expand to teach middle and high school students as the center becomes established.

“We are thrilled to receive Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award and be recognized as a high-performing nonprofit,” said Steve St. Amand, CEO of Junior Achievement of North Florida. “The award’s $200,000 grant and leadership training will help JA better serve the greater Jacksonville community through programs that seek to encourage young people to become financially successful.”

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown said: “Junior Achievement’s planned Financial Literacy Center will go a long way toward making Mitchell Community Center an even more valuable asset to the community, as well as educating and inspiring young people in New Town to pursue a brighter future. On behalf of the City of Jacksonville, I thank Bank of America for their generous support of these efforts.”

View photos from the award reception

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