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Junior Achievement of Greater Boston Receives $1.1 Million from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Junior Achievement of Greater Boston Receives $1.1 Million from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Funds to Be Used for Career Exploration, Innovation Center, 3DE Schools

Boston, Mass. – Junior Achievement of Greater Boston announced today, on National Nonprofit Day, that the organization has received a philanthropic investment of $1.1 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The gift is part of a total of $38.8 million donated to Junior Achievement USA and JA operations in 26 communities across the country. This investment marks the largest gift from a single donor in Junior Achievement USA’s 103-year history.

Junior Achievement of Greater Boston’s strategic vision is to close the wealth and opportunity gaps for youth in key impact communities — currently Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, Somerville, and Worcester — by creating middle school to career pathways, igniting youth entrepreneurship, and preparing financially savvy youth.

“We’re honored by and grateful for MacKenzie Scott’s incredible generosity toward Junior Achievement of Greater Boston,” said Junior Achievement of Greater Boston President & CEO Radhames Nova. “Investments like this one are the lifeblood of our organization, making it possible for us to support young people who have all the potential in the world and just need mentorship and guidance to find their way to a brighter future. We greatly appreciate Ms. Scott’s recognition of our vision, and we hope her leadership inspires others to help us further this important mission.”

These funds will help Junior Achievement of Greater Boston strengthen organizational infrastructure and implement several components of its vision, including:

  • Launch JA Inspire, a career exploration program designed to set middle schoolers up for success in high school and beyond. JA Inspire’s curriculum encourages middle school students to think about their interests, strengths and how they may turn those into a future career. It culminates in an interactive career exploration experience that exposes students to a broad range of potential careers through engaging and experiential displays.
  • Continued activation of its JA Innovation Center @ RSMin Charlestown. This exciting new educational space empowers city youth to launch and operate their own startup companies and gain the critical life skills needed to succeed in any career pathway they choose. The organization also has plans to establish similar JA Innovation Centers in other JA impact communities, with Lawrence as the next priority.
  • Establish and scale JA Career Pathway for Alumni, a new initiative that will assist JA alumni in choosing a career path of their choice and help them prepare for, secure, and succeed in their first career opportunity post high school. 
  • Launch 3DE Schools by Junior Achievementin Boston Public Schools in fall 2023, and possibly in Lawrence in fall 2024. 3DE Schools use a new instructional model that is reengineering high school education to expand economic opportunities for all students by making education more experiential and relevant; helping students connect their academics with the real world.

Scott’s investment builds on several others in support of Junior Achievement of Greater Boston, including $1 million from JA alumnus Bill Schawbel, $585,000 from an anonymous foundation, $110,000 from an anonymous individual and multiple investments from longtime JA partners like ALKU, Delta Air Lines, EOS Foundation, RSM, Santander Bank, UPS, Wayfair, Webster Bank, and others.

Scott’s donation comes on the heels of a new name and strategic direction for Junior Achievement of Greater Boston, which was previously known as Junior Achievement of Northern New England. The organization has shifted its focus to middle and high school students, connecting those most in need of opportunity to a future that they perhaps didn’t know was possible. Junior Achievement of Greater Boston served more than 6,000 students during the 2021-2022 school year, an increase of almost a third from the previous year.

About Junior Achievement of Greater Boston
Together with our school, business and community partners, Junior Achievement of Greater Boston draws on its more than 70 years of history to prepare today’s youth for the workforce of tomorrow. Through our proven, hands-on programs and experiences, middle and high school students learn how to manage their finances, launch their own businesses, make their college and career goals a reality, and become future leaders. We engage volunteers from the business community who understand our students’ lived experiences, and can guide them as they build their confidence, and important life and workplace skills. By focusing on communities most in need of opportunity, we’re transforming students’ lives, making a lasting impact on their families, schools and communities, and creating a more equitable society. To learn more, visit

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