Proud to receive Bank of America’s highest philanthropic honor

On February 25, 2015 Bank of America held a reception at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville to recognize JA of North Florida as the 2014 Neighborhood Builders Award recipient.

The announcement came in December 2014 that JA of North Florida was the chosen recipient for $200,000 in unrestricted funds for Bank of America’s 2014 Neighborhood Builders® Award.

Last night Bank of America held a reception at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville to formally recognize JA of North Florida as the recipient.

The $200,000 in funds will be used to establish a financial literacy center in New Town, a low-income neighborhood on Jacksonville’s Northside with high crime and unemployment rates.

The Mitchell Community Center will be the site of the Bank of America/Junior Achievement Financial Literacy Center.

The Mitchell Community Center, site of future Bank of America Junior Achievement Financial Literacy Center.

The Mitchell Community Center, site of future Bank of America/Junior Achievement Financial Literacy Center.

Up until now, the Mitchell Community Center has remained an under-utilized multi-purpose building in New Town.

Junior Achievement saw this site as the perfect opportunity.

“Bank of America’s award will help JA better serve the Jacksonville community through programs that seek to encourage young people to become financially successful,” said JA of North Florida President, Steve St. Amand.

With the funding from Bank of America and partnerships with the City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Duval County Public Schools and Edward Waters College, the New Town Financial Literacy Center will become a reality.

Pilot classes are set to begin next school year.

JA will seek to reach 2,500 students per year, teaching them the fundamentals of banking, business and taxes as well as financial literacy skills.

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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

Junior Achievement selected by Delores Barr Weaver as 1 of 20 local nonprofits to receive funding “in perpetuity” from newly established fund

Delores Barr Weaver (front row, center) with representatives from the selected organizations including JA  of North Florida President, Steve St. Amand (back row, center).

Delores Barr Weaver (front row, center) with representatives from the selected organizations including JA of North Florida President, Steve St. Amand (back row, center).

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Delores Barr Weaver (former owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars alongside husband, Wanye Weaver) has established a $4 million endowed fund to help Northeast Florida nonprofits with their annual fundraising events.

Beginning in 2015, the endowment will provide an annual grant of $10,000 to 20 local organizations to support their fundraising events “in perpetuity.”

Junior Achievement of North Florida has been selected as one of 20 organizations to receive the funding. 

JA of North Florida’s annual $mart Women Make Change event, which benefits its JA Girl$ initiative, will be supported by the grant from the Endowed $10,000 Event Grant Fund est. 2015 by Delores Barr Weaver.

About the Endowed $10,000 Event Grant Fund est. 2015 by Delores Barr Weaver
Delores Barr Weaver established this Fund in 2015 to provide a $10,000 grant annually to support a premiere fundraising event in perpetuity at 20 local nonprofit organizations. This grant will provide a permanent source of income for organizations that Ms. Weaver has generously supported for many years. It is her hope that other individuals will make similar permanent gifts to organizations that have been important to them. This Fund is one of a collection of Funds established by Delores Barr Weaver at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. Mrs. Weaver has an extraordinary legacy of philanthropy, and she has provided transformative support to dozens of nonprofit organizations that uplift, enlighten and advance our community. Her establishment of the Delores Barr Weaver Fund ($50 million) in 2012 was the largest gift in The Community Foundation’s history.

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (www.jaxcf.org) is Florida’s oldest and largest community foundation. The Foundation works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community – helping donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helping nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helping people come together to make the community a better place. The Foundation has more than $300 million in assets and has made grants in excess of $278 million since 1964.

Junior Achievement Receives $7,000 State Farm Grant towards High School Workforce Preparation

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Junior Achievement of North Florida received a $7,000 State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship grant to carry out its JA Work$ initiative that teaches workforce preparation to high school students. These students will get a firsthand experience of the working world when they are trained and given a “job”: to teach Junior Achievement’s professionally prepared financial literacy programs to elementary students, while receiving feedback and evaluation on their performance.

JA Work$ allows high school students from low income families to have a better understanding of the workforce and the work place. Students from Lee High School have been recruited to participate and will be exposed to resume writing, job interviews and the responsibilities of work. Additionally, these students will have a deeper grasp of financial concepts because they have to teach them as their “job” when they teach Junior Achievement’s financial literacy programs to classes at Pinedale Elementary School.

“The State Farm sponsored JA Work$ initiative provides a direct impact on students graduating from high school,” said JA of North Florida president Steve St. Amand. “Junior Achievement’s workforce preparation programs that highlight resume writing, interviewing skills and workplace skills are coupled with actual work experience to give students a “how to” guide for use once they graduate.”

These high school students will receive a stipend upon completion of their “job” and much like a real job will be monitored and receive feedback on their work. They will also learn about responsibility, working in front of a group and the value of contributing to their neighborhoods. The elementary students who are taught JA programs by the high school students will not only be exposed to JA programs but to positive role models from schools in which they will soon be enrolled.

JA Work$ was implemented in 2012 as a pilot program thanks to State Farm’s support. This year, Junior Achievement looks to expand the program, preparing more students for success after high school.

Junior Achievement receives Starbucks Foundation grant

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The Starbucks Foundation has awarded Junior Achievement of North Florida a Youth Leadership Grant in the amount of $10,000. This grant will support the JA Work$ program which provides high school students with work-related training and on-the-job experience.

“It is our goal to equip these students with work readiness skills to be become productive citizens,” said VP of Programs Tiffany Mackey.

More than 100 high school students will participate. These students will be recruited from Title I schools that are located in underserved communities. Students will also be recruited from our own JA Boy$ program which focuses on bringing financial literacy, workforce preparation and entrepreneurship programs to underprivileged boys and young men on Jacksonville’s Northside and Westside.

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As with all JA initiatives, trained volunteers will facilitate the program. Volunteers will be recruited from local companies including Starbucks to teach two programs to JA Work$ students: JA Career Success and JA Personal Finance.

Armed with the knowledge imparted by these programs, JA Work$ participants will be provided a “job”: teaching Junior Achievement classes to nearly 1,000 elementary school students. Before they start, they will go through job application, resume and interview training under the guidance of volunteers. JA Work$ students will be provided a small stipend of $150 upon completion of their “job” and much like a real job, will be evaluated and receive feedback.

This workforce experience will help to eliminate the unknowns of job application and the workplace. Graduates of JA Work$ will understand what it takes to find and secure a job—a process that will no longer be foreign to these students.

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“[JA Work$] is the perfect combination of taking theories learned in the classroom and applying them practically,” said JA Boy$ Program Manager Jonathan Bishop. “We want to give the student participants a peek into the real-world and what it takes to succeed.”

 

JA of North Florida Receives $5,000 State Farm grant

state farm logoJunior Achievement of North Florida is receiving $5,000 State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant to support high school workforce preparation on Jacksonville’s Westside.

During the 2012-2013 school year Junior Achievement will prepare 25 Lee High School students for the workforce using it workforce preparation programs and other resources, place them in elementary schools to teach Junior Achievement programs, and monitor and evaluate their work experience. Teaching JA programs will provide high school students with public speaking, teaching, and public service experience.

Participants will be exposed to resume writing, job interviews, the responsibilities of work, and evaluation. Additionally, high school students will have a deeper grasp of financial concepts because they have to teach them as their “job.”

The grant funding will provide the training and include resources like transportation and lunch, as well as $150 stipends for the students who teach all five Junior Achievement classes.

These high school students will bring lessons in financial literacy, practical economics, and workforce preparation to youth in Jacksonville. The younger students who are taught will not only be exposed to JA’s professionally prepared programs, but to positive role models from schools in which they will soon be enrolled.