Junior Achievement gets $300K from Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

Local nonprofit Junior Achievement of Arizona recently received a $300,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

The grant provides necessary money for management and work-readiness education to 2,500 low-income Arizona students, according to a press release.

The funds will help expand in-class curriculum and JA BizTown programming — an experiential, simulation-based curriculum for fourth through sixth-grade students to work in a child-sized economy and gain “a sense of adulthood” — in low-income public schools.

Teaching students work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, the nonprofit serves an average of 83,000 Arizona youth each year, with nearly 60 percent from low-income households, the release said.

In JA’s in-classroom programs, volunteers deliver engaging, activity-based financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship education during the school day, according to the release, describing how the nonprofit educates kindergarten through high-school-aged students using a volunteer-led delivery model through partnerships with 400 schools, nearly 3,000 educators and more than 8,000 programmatic volunteers.

“We are honored to have such an esteemed organization as The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation partner in our mission to prepare Arizona youth to succeed in work and life. This investment will give thousands more students the opportunity to gain the life skills and confidence that come with participation in JA programs,” said Katherine Cecala, Junior Achievement of Arizona president, in a prepared statement.

“We are equally proud to count Mrs. Parsons among our Junior Achievement alumni.”

The release noted that businesswoman and philanthropist, Renee Parsons participated in, and benefited from, JA programs as a student in Michigan. She received similar financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurship training as the youth benefitting from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation support today.

“As a former Junior Achievement participant, I know firsthand how valuable these programs are for students,” said Ms. Parsons in a prepared statement.

“Junior Achievement was a fun and informative way to learn how businesses operate and an introduction to basic accounting practices. We learned how to look at a business from the beginning: creating a product, selling it and keeping the books.”

The nonprofit’s mission aligns with that of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, which focuses on youth initiatives and values reaching low-income students through enhanced education.

“Junior Achievement provides students with firsthand experience of what business entails on a level they can understand, actively participate and see the results of their efforts,” said businessman Mr. Parsons in a prepared statement.

“What is learned in this process readies them to begin thinking about one day having businesses of their own – both large and small. It’s on these new businesses that the foundation of our great country is built, and which makes the USA the world’s economic powerhouse.”

To learn more about getting involved in JA, visit jaaz.org.

The Scottsdale Independent publishes a free daily newsletter. A print edition is mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses each month. If you value our journalistic mission, please consider showing us your support.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable. Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment