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SunTrust Foundation Provides $750,000 Grant for New Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee Program

Dec 19, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Junior Achievement (JA) of Middle Tennessee is pleased to announce the SunTrust Foundation has pledged $750,000 to support a new program for students called JA Finance Park. The SunTrust Foundation supports Junior Achievement activities in communities throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

JA Finance Park is designed for middle and high school students to learn about personal finance and explore career paths. The program will serve up to 100 students each day to help them prepare more fully for college, careers, and the demands of tomorrow's economy, guiding them along a path toward financial confidence.

"We are incredibly thankful for our sponsors on this project, especially the SunTrust Foundation and its generous grant," said Trent Klingensmith, president and CEO of JA of Middle Tennessee. "We are confident this new program will provide transformative, educational experiences for students across Middle Tennessee, and it wouldn't be possible without the support we've received from the community."

"The SunTrust Foundation is committed to providing our communities with financial education and counseling, career readiness, and entrepreneurship support," said Stan Little, president of the SunTrust Foundation. "Offering our youth real-life experiences through JA Finance Park is a great way to help them begin the journey of maturing into financially confident adults."

This program gives middle and high school students the skills they need to fill and create the careers of tomorrow. The experience will begin with a month-long, in-class economics program during which students learn personal financial planning and examine pathways to various careers. They will then travel to JA Finance Park, where each student is assigned a "life situation" that includes their career, income and family composition. There, they will make real-life decisions such as buying a car, negotiating a mortgage, paying monthly expenses, investing in their own education and more.

There are currently 18 planned storefronts in JA Finance Park, including:

  • Entertainment, sponsored by Ryman Hospitality Properties
  • Career Exploration, sponsored by Jackson National Life Insurance Company
  • Health Care, sponsored by HCA
  • Housing, sponsored by CAT Financial
  • Bank, sponsored by Regions Bank
  • Financial Center, supported by the SunTrust Foundation
  • Education, sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University
  • Utilities
  • Phone, Internet, Cable
  • Clothing
  • That's Life
  • Child Care
  • Credit Card
  • Home and Auto Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Gas and Maintenance
  • Grocery
  • Furniture and Home Improvement

"SunTrust teammates are eager to give back in our communities," said Scott Pohlman, SunTrust Bank Nashville market president. "Our teammates currently volunteer with JA, and we're looking forward to expanding our volunteerism to JA Finance Park to help even more students gain financial confidence."

Additional support for JA Finance Park includes Bank of America, Ingram Industries, Scarlett Family Foundation, EY, Joe C. Davis Foundation, Deloitte, PwC, and the JA staff and board of directors.

The project is estimated to cost $3 million and will be housed within JA's current facility located off Powell Place in the 100 Oaks area. JA has been planning for the past three years to build the 8,000-square-foot interactive space and cover the first three years of operations, including staff, program materials and facility expenses.

Construction is slated to begin next summer, and JA Finance Park expects to welcome its first students in the spring of 2020. The program will run alongside JA's other programs, including JA BizTown, a fully interactive simulated town that serves fourth- through sixth-graders.

About Junior Achievement (JA) USA and JA of Middle Tennessee
Junior Achievement USA® (JA) is the world's largest and fastest-growing nonprofit 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. Locally, JA of Middle Tennessee, a franchise of JA USA®, is solely dedicated to preparing youth to lead healthy financial lives. With dedicated corporate and community volunteers, K-12 students are engaged, equipped and inspired through financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs. JA of Middle Tennessee volunteers and programs give young people the hope and skills to succeed in work and life.  Founded in Middle Tennessee in 1957, JA now covers 21 counties in the region, reaching over 33,000 students annually in over 1,400 classrooms throughout Middle Tennessee. For more information, visit www.janash.com or www.ja.org.

About the SunTrust Foundation
The SunTrust Foundation is committed to SunTrust Bank's (NYSE: STI) purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging with local and national organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial education, financial counseling, career readiness and small business/entrepreneurship, in addition to local community grants. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $140 million throughout the United States.

SOURCE SunTrust Foundation

For further information: Jennifer Galligan, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, 615.627.1187, jenniferg@janash.com; Audria Belton, SunTrust Foundation, 404.813.3664, audria.belton@suntrust.com