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NCO received largest one-time gift in organization’s history from Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott

Junior Achievement USA (JA) announced today that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $38.8 million to Junior Achievement USA and JA operations in 26 communities across the country. This is the largest gift from a single donor in the organization’s 103-year history.

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio (JANCO), headquartered in Stark County, and serving 16 Ohio counties, was one of the 26 areas selected by Scott and will receive $700,000 to fund their K-12th grade financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career- readiness programs.

Lori McCleese, JANCO’s President shared, “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."

“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,” said Jim Leahy, CFO of the Belden Brick Company and JANCO’s Board Chair. “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.”


Media Contacts:

Lori McCleese
Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio
(330) 433-0063

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