JA of Rhode Island One of Eight Global Recipients of MetLife Award

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA), which provides work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship programs to K–12 students, announced today that it has received $40,000 in two grants from the MetLife Foundation.

One grant, in the amount of $25,000, recognizes JA as a recipient of MetLife Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Award. This award was designed to identify, fund, and promote replication and adaptation of innovative programs and processes developed by JA Affiliates worldwide. JA of Rhode Island’s award was forEducation Awareness Week, an initiative designed to recognize the work of teachers and volunteers by engaging government, community, business, and education leaders in a week of activities.

Taking place in April 2014, Education Awareness Week included a proclamation ceremony at the State House with Governor Chafee, Lt. Governor Roberts, General Treasurer Raimondo, Attorney General Kilmartin, Representative Joseph McNamara and JA Job Shadow students from Central Falls High School. It also included JA Leaders Day at Carl Lauro Elementary in Providence where more than 70 business and community volunteers taught in 41 classrooms, reaching nearly 1,000 students.

A second grant of $15,000 from the MetLife Foundation Volunteer Project Fund recognizes the support of local MetLife associates who volunteer their time to assist with JA programs. This grant, supported by MetLife volunteers, will provide for 16 programs, impacting nearly 350 students in Rhode Island’s urban and urban-ring schools.

“We are not only honored to be recognized as one of just eight MetLife award recipients globally, but also to have the continued support of so many MetLife associates here in Rhode Island.” said Lee Lewis, president of Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. “These grants and volunteer support will allow us to continue to bring our programs into some of Rhode Island’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, providing access to those students who need it most.”

"MetLife Foundation recognizes the important role that Junior Achievement plays worldwide in inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy," said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "We are pleased to join JA in honoring JA of Rhode Island whose exemplary innovation and entrepreneurship is helping to reach more young people with effective, high-quality programs."

Junior Achievement programs, taught by community and business leaders- rather than paid staff, empower students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world– enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school. Participation in these programs provides students with the ability to build a foundation of financial security and career accomplishment that will benefit them, their families, and their communities.

In 2013 – 2014, JA programs reached 10,562 students. 66% of programs were in Rhode Island’s urban and urban-ring school districts.

About Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA) 

Junior Achievement is the state's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 7 percent of the Rhode Island student population per year in more than 26 communities across Rhode Island. For more information, visit our website at http://jarhodeisland.org, connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juniorachievementri, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JARhodeIsland.

About MetLife Foundation 
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife's long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2013, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $600 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.


Junior Achievement of Rhode Island
Jeffrey Cartee