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Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio receives $700,000 donation

MacKenzie Scott has donated $38.8 million to Junior Achievement USA and JA operations, including $700,000 to JANCO.
Credit: Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio

CANTON, Ohio — Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $38.8 million to Junior Achievement USA and JA operations in 26 communities across the country, marking the largest donation from a single donor in the organization's 103-year history.

The historic donation is being felt in Northeast Ohio, with Stark County-based Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio (JANCO) selected to receive $700,000, which will be used to fund K-12th grade financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career readiness programs in the 16 Ohio counties it serves.

In a release, JANCO President Lori McCleese said: “This gift truly could not have come at a better time. Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio has experienced tremendous growth over the past three years and the potential to increase our student impact is exciting. This gift will enable JA to grow capacity and support our mission as well as key strategic initiatives. Among these priorities is directing support to local schools as they begin to implement a semester-long financial literacy course as part of Ohio Senate Bill One. Next, expanding our nationally recognized high school entrepreneurship programming while providing resources and tools to support youth entrepreneurs in our communities. A third priority for JA is building a bridge between education and the professional world with a focus on creating a talent pipeline for the future of our community centered around career exploration and planning."

Added Jim Leahy, CFO of the Belden Brick Company and JANCO’s Board Chair: "JA is a wonderful organization that impacts the lives of so many students and strengthens our communities. We are thrilled to be one of the 26 JA areas in the country to be selected by such a wonderful donor. JA of North Central Ohio has had national success on many fronts including winning the JA Student Company of the Year four of the past five years, but our impact goes much further. This gift will allow us to invest even more in our children’s future by expanding our capacity to meet the growing demands for our programs. My hope is that this gift acts as a catalyst to call attention to the important work Junior Achievement is doing in our schools and communities.”

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