Wells Fargo & Company announced on Monday a $100,000 donation to Junior Achievement of Chicago (JA) that will help prepare 4,600 local students for future employment. The bank’s contribution, more than double its 2016 gift, supports 200 JA financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship programs in Chicago schools.
Chicago Wells Fargo executives and team members presented the grant during a JA Reverse Job Shadow program on Monday at Phoenix Military Academy, a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school and Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Military Academy on the city’s West Side.
JA Reverse Job Shadow– now in its fourth year – brings volunteers into Chicago classrooms to discuss their vocation, education decisions, and the joys and frustrations of their fields with students. In the 2016-2017 school year, the program will give nearly 228,000 students the opportunity to interact with professionals through discussions and hands-on activities. Since 2014, JA Reverse Job Shadow has reached more than 540,000 Chicago area students.
“JA is a key partner for our school in preparing students for the world of work,” said Army Sergeant First Class and senior advisor Michael Walker of Phoenix Military Academy. “JA’s career-readiness programs and volunteers from the business world help students understand the potential for their futures.”
Phoenix Military Academy, which has participated in JA since 2006, has put more than 3,800 students through JA programs. Ninety-six percent of the school’s students are from low-to-moderate-income homes.
More Chicago schools and classrooms reap the benefits of JA programming than any U.S. city, serving approximately 570,000 students of all racial and economic backgrounds in 27,000-plus classrooms at no cost to schools. During the 2015-2016 school year, 62 percent of JA of Chicago students were from low-to-moderate income homes. During their primary and secondary school years, half of all CPS children have some contact with JA programs, which are led by community volunteers, including Wells Fargo team members.
“Wells Fargo is a proud, longtime supporter of Junior Achievement’s efforts in Chicago and nationwide to help make students more employable in the future,” said Patrice DeCorrevont, executive vice president and division manager for Wells Fargo Government and Institutional Banking, who is based in Chicago. “We are committed champions of economic empowerment in our communities and invest in programs that improve educational opportunities for children.”
More than 60 Wells Fargo team members such as DeCorrevont serve on JA’s area boards nationwide, including Chicago-based company executives Steve Battreall, president and CEO for Commercial Distribution Finance, and Daniel Van Aken, managing director and portfolio manager for Industrials Group. A dozen Wells Fargo team members have volunteered in more than 30 Chicago classrooms in the 2016-2017 school year to date, with more volunteers scheduled through June.