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Junior Achievement Celebrates Outstanding Partners at 2018 Annual Celebration

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August 21, 2018
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Each year, Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JAUM) hosts an Annual Celebration event to recognize and honor the organization’s outstanding partners, volunteers, and educators. Nearly 200 guests attended last week’s celebration, held on Thursday, August 16, at RSP Architects in Minneapolis. In addition to individual awards recognizing top volunteers and educators, JAUM honored the following companies and organizations for their exceptional commitment to Junior Achievement’s mission of inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy:

Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) was honored with the Entrepreneur Leader of the Year Award. Through a new partnership in 2017-2018, Junior Achievement and Meda leveraged each organization’s assets to develop young minority entrepreneurs with the goal of alleviating economic inequalities and increasing the number of minority-owned businesses in our community.

3M was honored with the Corporate Council Team of the Year Award. Corporate Councils are comprised of employees who are committed to furthering the mission of JA within the company through fundraising opportunities, special event participation, and/or volunteer recruitment. The team at 3M built their council from scratch and created powerful employee engagement in their first year. Under the direction of 3M employees Marti Platta and Megan Ward, the company has increased engagement by bringing together long-time 3M volunteers and advocates.

CliftonLarsonAllen was given the WOWZA Award for recruiting an additional 200 employee volunteers to deliver Junior Achievement programs to local students during the 2017-2018 school year.

Farmamerica (greater Minnesota) and TCF Bank (metro area) were recognized as Emerging Partners of the Year.
JAUM and Farmamerica developed a partnership to introduce 7th and 8th grade students to career opportunities in agriculture through fast-paced, hands-on experiences and curriculum that helps students explore their personal interests, career clusters, and high-growth agriculture careers within those clusters.
For the first time in TCF’s partnership with JAUM, they have coordinated a JA Corporate Council, a group of employees dedicated to promoting the Junior Achievement mission throughout the company. In its first year, the council coordinated two very large JA-in-a-Day events (where an entire school receives JA programming in one day); participated in JA bigBowl, JAUM’s largest fundraising event; and provided employee volunteers at JA BizTown, a simulated city where middle school students run an economy for a day.
“We’re grateful for our strong partnerships with Minnesota’s business community,” said Gina Blayney, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. “By providing financial and volunteer support, these organizations are helping us create a generation of fiscally responsible, innovative thinking, and workforce ready young adults who are prepared to enter the real world with the skills and confidence needed to succeed.”

About Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest
Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest has been serving students in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin since 1949. During the 2017-2018 school year we reached more than 165,500 students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, career and college readiness and entrepreneurship education. Our programs are implemented by more than 10,000 volunteers, mostly business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed. Learn more at

Lori Dossett, Director of Marketing & Communications
(651) 255-0038