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Junior Achievement earns grant via ABJ's owner

Two Greater Akron nonprofits will receive $5,000 grants as part of a national effort involving the Akron Beacon Journal. 

The $2.3 million national A Community Thrives initiative is sponsored by The Akron Beacon Journal’s parent company, Gannett, and the Gannett Foundation to support organizations working to address a range of social issues.

This year, those issues included homelessness, mental health care for LGBTQ people, reproductive care and girls' education, to name a few. Since 2017, A Community Thrives has distributed $17 million in grants and donations to community-based organizations.  

“Now in its fifth year, A Community Thrives awards grants to many significant causes helping to improve lives. Each of our grant winners is making a positive impact, and we are proud to support organizations that share our purpose," Gannett CEO Mike Reed said.

All grant recipients raised money through crowdfunding prior to receiving a local grant or national grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.

In Greater Akron, Dreams Academy International, which mentors, teaches and ultimately positively affects young Black males, and Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, will each receive $5,000. Junior Achievement's mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy with a focus on the principals of market-based economics and entrepreneurship.

Elsewhere in Ohio, a Columbus organization that helps girls in 20 states navigate the challenges of adolescence, and a Cincinnati group that helps refugees resettle in the US are two of 16 recipients of larger grants from the national Gannett grantmaking and crowdfunding initiative.

A $50,000 national grant and $5,000 local grant will go to the ROX (Ruling Our Experiences) program for girls, and Refugee Connect in Cincinnati will receive a $25,000 national grant and $5,000 local grant.

Lauren Hancock, director of operations for ROX in Columbus, said the grant will help hundreds of girls in Ohio and across the country.

"It's designed to help girls build confidence, and in lots of areas of their lives," Hancock said. "It teaches them how to communicate effectively, how to get along with other girls and develop healthy relationships, and to speak their minds and speak up for themselves. It also includes training in personal safety – an empowerment model of self-defense that allows a girl to feel safe in her body and to speak up for herself."

A Community Thrives solicits applications through the Gannett network each year.

"Across the country, A Community Thrives grants link USA TODAY Network brands to the communities in which we operate and beyond," said Sue Madden, director of the Gannett Foundation. "Our reporters work every day to empower communities to thrive and this program helps fulfill that core purpose."

For the full list of grantees, go to

Source: Akron Beacon Journal


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