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Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore Receives $500,000 gift from Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott

Eastern Shore, MD – Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore (JAES) is the proud recipient of $500,000 of the $38.8 million gift from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, who donated to 26 JA operations throughout the country.

The donation received by JAES will go towards the completion of the Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center, a 25,000 sq. ft. facility in the Oak Ridge Commons in Salisbury that will house over 10,000 students a year when it opens in Fall 2023.

“We are eternally grateful to Mackenzie Scott for choosing us to be one of the 26 recipients of this extremely gracious gift,” said Jayme Hayes, president of JAES. “This donation will ensure the Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center becomes a gleaming pillar of education on the Shore, giving our students the knowledge and resources to succeed in the global economy.”

Scott chose Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore as one of the 26 recipients through thorough research of the organization’s operations and its mission. Last year, JAES reached nearly 12,500 students in seven counties – Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Accomack.

The Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center will also be the first of its kind on Maryland’s eastern shore, offering JA capstone programs such as JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. Both will allow students to interact with local businesses to discover how these organizations benefit them as consumers but also show the opportunities that await in their own backyard.  

“The Perdue Henson Junior Achievement Center will continue JA’s mission of preparing young people for success,” Hayes said. “Because of the partnerships we’ve made with our local business community, regional leaders and more, Mackenzie Scott was able to see through her research what kind of impact this facility will have on our students. We’re so thankful she is able to share our vision!”

Scott’s $38.8 million is the largest gift from a single donor in the organization’s 103-year history. Junior Achievement USA will be using its portion of the gift to build network capacity and innovative new learning channels that will benefit all 102 JA operations across the country.

About Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth, grades K-12 both public and private, on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.  Our hands-on, age-appropriate programs inspire youth to live within their means, prepare for the world of work and understand the free enterprise system. We are an enhancement to what kids learn in school and a direct link to real-life applications, making school relevant and increasing students’ engagement in the classroom.

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