CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Truist Foundation today announced it has awarded a $775,000 grant to Junior Achievement of Central Maryland Inc. (JA) to build a JA Finance Park facility in the Lansdowne community of Baltimore. JA Finance Park is an innovation in experiential education designed to engage middle school students and prepare them for life and work outside of school. The new facility will be located at JA's future headquarters at 1725 Twin Springs Road.
JA Finance Park combines in-classroom curriculum with an interactive "mini-city" where students experience the challenges of making real-life financial decisions related to income, expenses, savings and credit. This experience lays the foundation for how they approach their future financial responsibilities and navigate success in the modern economy.
"We believe it's critical to equip youth in our communities with financial education and skills," said Lynette Bell, president of the Truist Foundation. "The expansion of the JA Finance Park to Baltimore will help build better lives and communities, one student at a time."
Junior Achievement will unveil the JA Finance Park as a signature, capstone program within its new JA Youth Workforce and Innovation Center. The Youth Workforce and Innovation Center will also house JA's main offices, a career exploration center, entrepreneurship center and JA BizTown. In total, the facility will annually serve 30,000 students and more than 5,000 volunteers and community members. A groundbreaking is planned for April.
"Truist Foundation has been a tremendous partner, and we are grateful for their support of this game-changing initiative in the communities we serve," said Jennifer Bodensiek, president & CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. "This backing allows us to expand hands-on programming that fuels the workforce pipeline and ensures that area youth grow into career-ready, financially responsible, and entrepreneurially-minded citizens."
This past school year, JA served more than 13,000 students in Baltimore City and over 8,000 in Baltimore County. Both school systems plan to expand student impact with the opening of the new center.
Statistics gathered nationally by the nonprofit show that JA students are 30% more likely to graduate from college than students in the general population and 67% more likely to earn an advanced degree. JA students not only secure employment at a higher rate than their peers, but they also earn 20% more in salary.
About Truist Foundation
The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation's (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation's grants and activities focus on leadership development, economic mobility, thriving communities and educational equity. Learn more at www.truist.com/truist-foundation.
About Junior Achievement of Central Maryland
Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is part of the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JACMD provides hands-on programs that show more than 46,000 K-12 students each year the realities of how careers, money and business ownership work. JA experiences are proven to give students the edge in college completion, career readiness, earning potential, and business start-up. For more information, visit www.jamaryland.org.