JA receives funding from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to serve low-income students

Posted in: Alumni Stories, Partners, Support

We are honored to announce that we recently received a $300,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to expand in-class curriculum and JA BizTown programming in low-income public schools. The funding means 2,500 students now have the opportunity to participate in JA programs!

JA is filling a critical gap for today’s students that receive limited real-world education in school, particularly when it comes to money management and career-readiness. This need is even more pressing for low-income students, as many of their adult influences may not have the education or background to teach financial and career skills outside of the classroom. JA provides this important education to kindergarten through high-school-aged students using a volunteer-led delivery model executed 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. We are equally proud to count Mrs. Parsons among our Junior Achievement alumni.”

Katherine Cecala, president of Junior Achievement of Arizona

A 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 benefiting from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation support today.

“As a former Junior Achievement participant, I know firsthand how valuable these programs are for students. 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.”

Renee Parsons

The nonprofit’s mission aligns well with that of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, which has a large focus on youth initiatives and places a high value on reaching low-income students through enhanced education. JA relies almost entirely on the support of community partners, individuals and local businesses to funds its programs each year.

“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. 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.”

Bob Parsons

JA’s programs have a significant positive impact on students. Youth who receive JA programming are more likely to graduate high school, are 33 percent more likely to graduate college and 67 percent more likely to receive an advanced degree. Additionally, research shows that JA alumni earn 20 percent more in their careers, are more likely to start a business and demonstrate higher critical thinking skills, when compared to the general population.

Learn more about JA programs