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Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts Receives $5,000 Grant from Webster Bank

SPRINGFIELD — Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, a local nonprofit organization that provides financial-literacy, entrepreneurship, and career-readiness education, was awarded a $5,000 grant from Webster Bank to support the JA: A Valued Added Authentic Learning Project, providing students with the tools to develop the 21st-century skills needed to become highly skilled, autonomous employees.

Through its charitable-giving programs, Webster Bank focuses on helping a broad set of organizations build a strong and self-reliant community. Webster has a long history of supporting Junior Achievement and its efforts to deliver K-12 programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial-literacy skills. Webster Bank employees volunteer to teach the JA curriculum at a variety of schools throughout the area.

JA: A Valued Added Authentic Learning Project leverages the skills, talent, and educational and career opportunities of this region to create a cadre of role models from the community to weave multiple intersecting pathways for middle-grade and high-school students to engage with JA’s relevant curriculum and instructional materials, supplemental technology-driven simulations, job-shadow experiences, and competitions. The project’s goals are to improve students’ knowledge of financial literacy in order for them to make sound financial judgments in the future; boost students’ entrepreneurial skills; increase students’ critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and raise awareness of career and post-secondary education and career opportunities in Western Mass.

“JA of Western Massachusetts is very excited to once again work with Webster Bank to bring our programs to area youth,” said Jennifer Connolly, president of JA of Western Massachusetts. “Webster Bank, like Junior Achievement, is dedicated to strengthening economic opportunities in underserved communities by empowering individuals with knowledge and tools needed to ensure financial self-sufficiency to inspire own their economic success.”

Kathy Luria, senior vice president of Community Affairs and director of Philanthropy at Webster Bank, added that “Webster is dedicated to giving of ourselves in the communities we serve. We know our long-standing investment in JA has a positive impact on the students, their financial literacy, and their readiness to be the employees and leaders of tomorrow.”

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